Few things are better than a home for the holidays, especially when it’s decked out with all the cheerful decor! From Christmas trees to menorahs, outdoor lights to inflatable reindeer, adding that decorative magic brings out the joy of the season.
Of course, what makes the decorating all the more spectacular is doing it safely. Gassen’s got your back! With our fifty years of property management experience, we’ve seen some things, so we offer this guide to you.
Know these fire safety precautions like the back of your hand this season, so you and your family and friends can have a safe and fun holiday.
Fire Safe Indoor Holiday Decorating
With the amazing festive smells, gorgeous displays, and warm, comforting fires in your fireplace, ‘tis the season to enjoy being inside with the people you love. Do it safely with these decorating reminders that will prevent fire hazards in your home.
Live Christmas Trees
It’s hard to blame the traditional Minnesotans who love the smell of fresh pine and adore having a real tree in their home for the holidays. With all the tree farms around, it’s easy to find the perfect live tree for any size room.
Just be sure to take the right precautions when placing, decorating, and maintaining it, like keeping that tree securely upright and in a tray of water. Water it regularly and as soon as it starts drying out, move it out of your house and dispose of it according to your city’s regulations.
Always keep your tree out of the way of fireplaces, burning candles, radiators, and other heating elements to ensure it doesn’t catch on fire.
Artificial Christmas Trees
For the homeowner who doesn’t want to go with a live Christmas tree, opting for an artificial tree can save time and money. Trees with lights already installed add convenience when decorating, and let’s be honest, often look more balanced than when we try to hang lights ourselves.
But even artificial trees have fire safety concerns. So, when shopping for a new tree, look for one with a fire-resistant label. If you’re pulling out your old tree from the basement, check it over to make sure it doesn’t have any broken bulbs or frayed cords.
When placing your tree, keep it away from heat sources, like radiators and fireplaces.
Christmas Tree Lights
When hanging lights on your tree, whether real or artificial, check for frayed cords and exposed wires, and get new lights if you see any. Replace any broken bulbs to guarantee your lights will work.
Connect only three strands of lights per extension cord, and opt for plugging into a power strip with a surge protector to prevent overcharging your outlet and starting an electrical fire.
Before you leave the house or when you’re going to bed, always remember to turn off your tree lights.
Menorahs & Kinaras
Candle light is a symbol of the holiday season for many people, and using real candles over electric ones brings a special charm and tradition to the holiday. When displaying menorahs and kinaras or using candles as holiday decorations, stay fire-conscious with placement and usage.
Keep flammable items, like curtains, trees, gifts, and paper and wood decorations, away from your candles. Fire safety authorities recommend trees and decor should be at least three feet away from a lit candle.
It’s also important to place candles on nonflammable surfaces, like ceramic dishes or trays lined with aluminum foil, to catch the hot wax.
And, perhaps the most vital thing to remember: never leave lit candles unattended, even for a minute.
For homes with working fireplaces, bring some extra caution when using them over the holidays. Place a fire screen in front of the fireplace to keep embers from escaping, and don’t light a fire if you’re hanging stockings on the mantel, placing rugs close to the fireplace, or decorating near it.
When opening gifts, don’t let discarded wrapping and tissue paper (or presents!) get close to the fireplace.
Finally, make sure all the embers are out before leaving your home or going to bed.
It should go without saying because you should always have smoke detectors installed and working properly. But during the holidays, it’s especially important.
With so many possible fire hazards around during this season, knowing you have a working warning system in place should ease your mind.
Outdoor Holiday Decor that Prevents Fires
While so much holiday decorating takes place inside, it’s always exciting to add that cheer outdoors, too!
When decorating your home’s exteriors, keep these tips in mind to prevent fire hazards from occurring on and around your house.
Made for the Outdoors
Verify that all the holiday decorations you display outside are for the outdoors. These decorations have to be waterproof and cold-resistant to handle the harsh weather conditions of a Minnesota December.
Exterior Holiday Lights
Like your indoor tree lights, check your outdoor light strands for broken bulbs and frayed cords and don’t use them if you see any problems. When hanging your lights, fasten them securely to trees and houses.
Always use plastic or well insulated hooks when hanging lights to protect yourself from electrocution and fire hazards.
No Overloading the Outlets
Similar to the indoors, it can be easy to overload one electrical socket with all of your outdoor lights. But the fire risks are too great, so space those lights and inflatable decorations out and plug in carefully.
Overloading not only causes blackouts but also sparks fires.
Guidelines from Your HOA
Follow the neighborhood guidelines and regulations on outdoor holiday decorating put forth by your HOA. It’s beneficial for both fire safety purposes and for the value of your neighborhood.
Gassen: Make Your HOA & Your Holidays Exceptional
With 12-minute emergency response times and quality local property management, Gassen is here to help keep you and yours stay safe this holiday season and all times of the year. Our caring experts can help you with all your HOA and property needs, including building maintenance, online and communication capabilities, and accounting services.
Call today at 952-922-5575 or message us online to learn more about what we can do for your community!