After Santa’s sleigh rolled through Times Square and brought a close to the 2014 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, it was officially time to unravel the twinkle lights and fill front yards with inflatable snow globes. For a month of joy and good cheer, here are some simple tips to keep your home and yourself safe through the New Year.
1. Care for your tree
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are notorious for household fires caused by a combination of dry evergreens and unwatched candles. To avoid having to call the fire department, routinely water your tree and keep lit candles or other open flames a safe distance from all flammable decorations.
2. Heat your home responsibly
Proper upkeep and use of your fireplace is necessary throughout the winter, and especially so during the holidays. Hire a professional to inspect, repair and clean your chimney prior to lighting that first fire after a long summer. Or if you’re looking for another way to keep heating costs to a minimum, consider investing in a space heater for the rooms you occupy most often.
3. Shield your driveway and your back
Dangerous winter weather can result in accidents of all sorts, but a little bit of preparation can prevent serious injury. Before a snow or ice storm, put down a layer of rock salt on all walkways around your home to keep visitors safe from slipping.
4. Educate your young ones
Teach your children the importance of being smart around electricity. Make sure they know how to correctly unplug lights and check for frayed wires, locate your emergency kit, and react in the case of an electrical fire.
5. Swap your traditions for savings
You can get that same winter wonderland effect for a far lower price by switching to LED decorations. Not only are LED holiday lights more cost- and energy-efficient than their incandescent kin, they’re also much cooler, which means a reduced risk of fire.
6. Protect your circuit
No one wants to fumble around on Christmas Eve searching for the fuse box. Do yourself a favor and minimize the number of electronics and appliances you run at one time. You can avoid blowing a fuse and overloading power circuits by understanding your home’s electrical system and monitoring the amount of power your family uses throughout the day.
Have a safe and happy holiday season!