Holiday decorating and safety for inside your home

Christmas countdown is on! With the holiday season now in full swing, many households are full of excess clutter and decor already. But did you know the presence of additional holiday items and people in your home can make for unsafe conditions? And fire hazards are more prevalent now as well, according to the Calgary Fire Department, kitchen fires and cooking are the leading cause of injury in the home.

Being prepared and preventative when it comes to holiday safety, will help you keep your family safe this season. Here’s some tips for inside your home:

  • Use indoor lights inside only, and outdoor lights outside only.
  • Inspect your lights before use, check for cracked bulbs and frayed wires on the strings.
  • A maximum of three light strands should be connected together.
  • Don’t overload your circuits or outlets.
  • Ensure you turn off your lights before you leave the home or go to sleep.
  • Don’t run extension cords under rugs or create tripping hazards.
  • If you’re going for a real tree, the fresher the better. Older trees tend to be dryer and can be a fire hazard.
  • Cut your tree four centimetres diagonally to absorb water easily.
  • Place your tree away from heat sources, never use candles on your tree.
  • Keep your tree hydrated.
  • Never put tree branches or needles in fireplaces or open heat sources.
  • Avoid electric lights on metallic trees
  • Don’t add chemicals to the tree water if you have children or pets.
  • Choose decorations that are flame-retardant only.
  • Do not use metallic decorations on your Christmas tree or anywhere that could come in contact with heat sources, like lights.
  • Avoid using decorations that have any faults or flaws on them.
  • Recycle wrapping paper and never dispose of it in the fireplace or in an open flame.
  • Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order, you’ll likely have additional people in your home during the holidays so you want to make sure everyone is safe.
  • If you have a fireplace, make sure it’s had the maintenance done, these can be a real fire hazard.
  • Light candles only where safe to do so, never near anything flammable and always blow them out when you leave a room.
  • Use space heaters in open areas, and never near anything flammable or covered. Make sure to unplug space heaters when you’re not in the room as well.
  • Never leave cooking unattended.
  • Refrain from having decorations or flammable items near areas where cooking will take place.
  • Don’t wear dangling jewelry or baggy clothing when cooking.

Stay safe this holiday season!