I’m friends with a few firehouse dogs—the ones with the nifty spotted coats. I appreciate all the work they do, and of course the work of the firefighters! They have the essential task of protecting us all year long!
However, nobody wants to have a reason to call the fire department. Christmas season is, unfortunately, a busy time for my Dalmatian friends and their human co-workers. My Dalmatian contacts have passed on to me some important safety tips that I’d like to share with you. These can help keep your family and property safe through one of the most joyous times of the year.
Understand indoor/outdoor light use
Purchasing festive colorful lights is a big part of decorating a house, both outside and inside. But make sure you know which is which! Lights are marked for one or the other, not both! It can be hazardous to use lights in the wrong place.
Please don’t hang lights using nails. Instead, use plastic clips. Nails can easily damage cords, creating an electrical fire hazard.
Watch out for lit candles
Wow, I love the scent of those spiced candles burning at Christmas time. But open flames like this are always a potential danger. According to the National Fire Protection Association, one-third of home decoration fires are started by candles. One option is to have electrical candles, which create an attractive flickering light that’s similar to a candle flame. (You can find other ways to create beautiful scents in the house.) If you do use candles, keep them away from other decorations, don’t leave them lit when you’re not around, and keep children and pets away from them. (Cats love to knock these things over, I don’t know why.)
Choose safe decorations
I know people like natural decorations, but if possible please choose fire-retardant or flame-resistant decorations, especially if you have candles around.
Replace damaged lights strings
If a light string has loose bulbs or worn cords, throw it out. These light strings aren’t meant to last forever, and if you’ve had them for a few seasons, inspect them carefully and toss them out if you have any doubts.
Do not overload outlets
Putting in so many lights as well as other powered decorations (like a robot Santa Claus) can overwhelm outlets and cause dangerous sparking. Always use power strips to plug in the extra lights, and don’t connect together too many light strings. Check on the packaging to see how many are safe to link.
Turn off those lights before you go to bed
Never keep any indoor or outdoor lights still on when you go to bed. I know it may look lovely to keep them glowing all night, but it increases the fire hazard. And it’s a costly use of electricity.
Test smoke detectors
I recommend testing the smoke detectors in your house every six months, and now is a great time to make sure these vital protections are working.
If you need help keeping warm or you have concerns about furnace safety this season, trust to our HVAC service in Knoxville, TN!
Merry Christmas From All of Us at Russell & Abbott! We’re here to help when you need us!