A great way to celebrate exciting times is with bright lights that amplify the excitement. No time of year epitomizes this more than the holiday season. We see shining lights of all colors, sizes, and luminosity strung up to celebrate this fun time of year as well as flickering candles lit to provide a festive ambiance. Housetops, porches, yards, trees, living rooms, stair railings, even vehicles, sweaters, and hats can be covered in lights in celebration of this month’s festivities. While this is very commonplace and all in good fun, it is important to remember that if we’re not careful, our holiday decorations can put us and our homes in danger of fire.
This holiday season, American Red Cross created a short video, shown below, and shared with Offerpad some great ways for all of us to protect our homes and families from fire while enjoying the bright lights of celebration in and outside our homes. The not-for-profit disaster relief organization reminds us that home fires are the most frequent of disasters in the United States; and according to the National Fire Protection Agency, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are the top three days of the year for home fires started by candles.
Apart from the regular home fire safety measures the Red Cross suggests all year round, such as testing smoke alarms and practicing home fire escape plans, they highlight ten simple safety tips home holiday decorators should apply this holiday season to help minimize the risk of home fire:
- Before using, check for any frayed or broken parts in light cords. Never string more than three strands of lights together per extension cord.
- When using an artificial tree, be sure it’s labeled as fire-resistant. Do not put it up near fireplaces, radiators and other sources of heat.
- When using a live tree, be sure it’s fresh and water it often to help it stay fresh. You can check freshness by bending the needles up and down making sure they don’t fall off.
- When using reused, recycled or older decorations, check their labels. For example, older tinsel can be lead-based. If using angel hair, wear gloves to avoid irritation.
- For outdoor decorating, be sure the decorations used are intended for outdoor use and fasten lights securely in place. When using nails or hooks, be sure they’re insulated to avoid electrocution or fire.
- When using a ladder to place decorations, be very cautious. Be sure the ladder’s base is placed sturdily and remains stable while anyone climbs it. Shoes that allow for good traction are recommended.
- Never use electric lights on decorative metallic trees.
- Always turn off all holiday lights when going to sleep or leaving the home.
- Be sure that decorations, children and pets stay away from any candles.
- Do not light a fire in the fireplace when stockings are hanging on the mantel.
The Red Cross has been a reputable disaster prevention and relief organization since its founding in 1881. It’s been dedicated to serving people in need for well over a century. The Red Cross has been on the ground at home and abroad to serve people throughout the conflicts and disasters of the past 137 years. As times have changed, the Red Cross has been sure to update its methods and tips to keep families safe wherever they are. Offerpad is proud to share their advice on home safety and disaster prevention for the well-being of our home sellers, buyers, and website visitors.
The holidays are a time for celebration, but they’re also some of the more dangerous days for home fires. To have a safer holiday season, we encourage everyone to check their decorations for fire hazards and follow common fire prevention tips.” Kevin Kelley, senior director, community preparedness for the American Red Cross.
This holiday season Offerpad and the Red Cross hope you have happy, safe, and secure holiday celebrations. Take this advice into account when decorating for your festivities and be sure to share it with your family, friends, and neighbors.