Ultimate Holiday Home Safety Checklist

Ultimate Holiday Home Safety

Ultimate Holiday Home Safety Checklist

The holiday season is officially here which means there will be lots of decorating, cooking, baking, and online shopping. Plus, if you live somewhere like Chicago, IL, you may even be able to spend time sitting by the fire on a snowy day. But, it can be easy to overlook necessary safety precautions with all the excitement that comes from the seasonal festivities. Let’s take a look at what the experts had to say about the ways holiday celebrations can bring extra risk into your life – and tips for how to minimize the risk to keep your home and family safe.

Keep lights on when you’re gone

Make your home appear as though someone is always there. Leaving lights on a timer will deter thieves. It’s best to leave an outdoor light on and a couple of inside lights on. –Chris Light Co 

Buy shatterproof ornaments

If you have young kids or pets, shatterproof ornaments will become your best friend! They look like beautiful glass ornaments but are less likely to shatter into hundreds of sharp pieces. Take advantage of these gorgeous shatterproof ornaments by placing them at the bottom of your tree where your kids or pets are most likely to gather. –Christmas Central 

Be careful in the kitchen

Almost 50 percent of all home fires start in the kitchen. By adopting the following fire safety habits, you can keep your home looking festive, and your family feeling merry. Never leave your turkey or pot roast unattended, thoroughly clean crumbs from toasters, remove grease buildup from your holiday pans and grills, and always have an ABC fire extinguisher atop your seasonal wish list. By making a list and checking it twice, you’ll remember to extinguish your scented candles of pine, peppermint, and pumpkin spice. –Statewide Fire Protection.

Don’t burn your Christmas tree after the holidays

According to data from the National Fire Protection Agency, Christmas tree fires cause over 10 million dollars of property damage every year—and many of these fires are intentional. Don’t burn your Christmas Tree! Pine and spruce trees contain flammable sap and highly combustible needles that ignite rapidly, causing flames that will leap up and burn the soot, creosote, and any other buildup in your chimney. So as tempting as it may be to discard your old Christmas tree by chucking it behind the grates and setting it ablaze, stick to the store-bought stuff this holiday season. –Chimney Monkey

Don’t overload electrical receptacles

Overloaded electrical receptacles are a primary safety concern, and usage of space heaters that consume a lot of amperage. Also, most electrical systems have been neglected until there is an issue. –EM2 Electrical Services

Christmas Safety Photo

Get an annual fireplace inspection and cleaning

There are over 25,000 chimney fires nationwide every year. It is imperative that you get your annual fireplace inspection and cleaning prior to use in order to keep your family safe – Santa will appreciate it too! –Aardvark Residential and Commercial Services

It is important to have your chimney cleaned and inspected each year by a professional chimney technician. If not cleaned each year, creosote can build up and cause a chimney fire.-Chimney Quest

Have your chimney waterproofed

Consider having your chimney waterproofed. Waterproofing lasts for 10 years and is a preventative measure that can save you thousands of dollars in repairs. The majority of our repairs are a result of freeze damage. –Yamhill County Chimney

Pay attention to how you store your Christmas lights

Make sure that your Christmas lights are always put away dry so as to prevent corrosion and damage. Keep them in a container that has airflow (drilling some holes in the bin works!) and store them in a cool dry place. Your lights will thank you, and so will your wallet! –Big Star Lights 

Make sure your home fire safety equipment works

Fire safety may be the last thing on your mind and to-do list, making sure your home fire safety equipment works could be the most important thing you put on that list. Test your smoke alarms and check if your fire extinguisher is fully charged by making sure the gauge is in the green. Additionally, visit the manufacturer’s website to check for any recalls on the make and model you have in your home. –EFR Fire & Safety Co.

Be cautious with your lighting

Avoid using any frayed, exposed, or damaged wire. When replacing bulbs, make sure the rating of the bulb matches the wattage rating of the strand you are using. Make sure to use indoor, outdoor, and outdoor/indoor rated lights properly to avoid electric shock and fire hazards. -Jennifer Herman, Christmas Design Lighting 

Originally Published on Redfin