The holiday season is in full swing! Now is the time to put your holiday planning checklist to work. There are holiday parties to plan, holiday decorations to put up, and of course, holiday shopping. As you are putting up indoor and outdoor decorations, choosing your live Christmas tree, or planning holiday events, there are certain safety tips for the holidays that you should follow to make sure that your home and family are safe this holiday season.
Holiday Food and Cooking Safety Tips
- When preparing a holiday meal for friends and family, make sure to wash hands, utensils, counter space and anything else that has had contact with raw poultry.
- Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within two hours after serving. Put dates on the leftovers so you will know when they can no longer be eaten. Refrigerated leftovers should be discarded after 4 days.
- Do not leave cooking food unattended.
- Keep anything flammable, such as towels and pot holders, away from cooking areas and surfaces.
- If using a turkey fryer, set it up outside on a flat surface at least 10 feet away from the house.
- Do not leave turkey fryers unattended. Keep children and pets away from the fryer.
- Use extreme care as the lid and handle of a turkey fryer can be extremely hot. Keep a fire extinguisher on hand for emergencies.
Holiday Season Decorating Safety Tips
According to National Fire Protection Association, one of every three Christmas tree fires is started by electrical issues, such as lighting. One of every six Christmas tree fires are caused because a tree was too close to a heat source. 56% of holiday home candle fires occur when something that can catch on fire is too close to a candle. Keep your family and home safe this holiday season by following these simple steps for candles, holiday lights and Christmas trees:
Christmas Tree Safety Tips
- Many artificial trees are fire resistant. Check the label on the tree to make sure your tree has this designation.
- A fresh tree will stay green longer and will be less of a fire hazard than a dry one. Fresh trees are green, the needles are hard to pull off and the trunk is sticky with resin.
- Cut off 2 inches of the trunk to expose fresh wood for better water absorption. Place the live tree in a sturdy stand with wide spread feet. Keep the stand filled with water the entire time the tree is indoors.
- Do NOT place Christmas trees in high traffic areas of the home, near fireplaces, radiators, or any other heat sources.
- Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant decorations and materials on both artificial and real trees.
- For a live tree, make sure to add water daily to the tree stand, so the tree does not dry out.
- When a tree starts to drop needles, it means that it is drying out and that it is time to dispose of the tree according to local laws.
Indoor and Outdoor Lights
- Use lights that have been tested for safety from an independent testing laboratory, such as Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL).
- Check lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed wires or loose connections. Throw away the damaged lights or repair them before use.
- Use LED lights, which use less energy and run cooler than traditional incandescent lights.
- Before decorating, determine how many outlets are available in the room and where they are located. Plan the placement of your decorations based on the nearby outlets.
- Periodically check the lights and the wires. The wires should not be warm to the touch when in use.
- Use no more than 3 standard sets of lights per one extension cord.
Holiday Candles Safety
- Fire safety experts recommend against using burning candles for holiday decorations. Use battery-operated candles instead.
- If using burning candles, place them away from easily flammable items such as decorations, greenery, and wrapping paper.
- Do not place burning candles on tables or surfaces in high traffic areas.
- Never keep an open flame unattended. Always keep a burning candle within your sight and blow out the candles when you leave the room.
ezStorage wants to help keep your family safe this holiday season. After the holidays, when you are ready to store holiday decorations, remember that renting a self storage unit is a great home storage solution for storing holiday decorations. Self storage is also a great place for artificial Christmas tree storage. Storing holiday decorations in self storage can help keep your home clutter free for the New Year!