Decorating for Christmas is a wonderful way to add warmth and holiday spirit to your home, but keeping a cautious eye on your yuletide accessories will help ensure a safe and happy holiday season.

First and foremost, test the batteries in your smoke detectors and replace them if necessary. While this a good habit year-round, it’s extra important during the winter months. Aside from twinkling holiday decorations, you may also be using your fireplace or wood stove. Also, make sure that you blow out all candles before you go to bed at night, and keep them out of the way of children and pets.

Replace worn out Christmas lights. It may be tempting to overlook a few non-working bulbs, but it’s best to replace those strands with a new set. There could be a problem with the wiring, which could spark a fire. Also, check the manufacturer’s guidelines for how many strands you should connect to one another. And turn off all of your electric holiday decor, both inside and outside, if you’re leaving home or going to bed.

If you’re using a live Christmas tree, make sure you keep it watered and check for dehydration. If the needles start turning brown and fall off easily, it’s time to discard your tree. Also, make sure your holiday decorations are non-flammable and refrain from using any type of light (including LED) on a dry tree.

Taking a few moments to survey your surroundings goes far beyond hanging your stockings by the chimney with care. And while watering your tree isn’t as exciting as recreating the North Pole in your front yard, keeping your family and friends safe during the holidays will help you avoid unfortunate accidents, and surely keep your name off the naughty list.


Source: Holiday & Winter Fire Safety, Pillar to Post Home Inspections, December 2017