Make Your Christmas a Safe One

It’s that magical time of year again – Christmas is upon us. With the days quickly going by it’s a good time to remind everyone of the hazards some decorations could bring. Whether you have a calm and quiet household or a high traffic home with children, pets, relatives, and friends – hazards can be everywhere and emergencies happen in seconds.

Regardless of the type of decorations you have, always be sure to…
• Have a working fire extinguisher nearby, electrical circuits can short out or candles may get knocked over. – It may sound silly to indicate “a working fire extinguisher” but many people purchase one and never use it. Then when an e

mergency happens three years down the road, the extinguisher is no longer functioning properly and calling 9-1-1 is your only option.
• Check the batteries in all of your smoke detectors (and carbon monoxide detectors) to ensure they are functioning properly. – Batteries should be replaced twice per year, and detectors should be tested monthly.
• Be sure to secure any and all tripping or falling hazards: power cords, large decorations on doors, trees, fragile ornaments on shelves or tables.
• Turn off all decorations when leaving your home or going to bed, this will greatly reduce the risk of an emergency while you are not paying attention.

Trees
• Whether you have a pine, spruce, fir, or even an artificial tree, your evergreen may look beautiful but it can also pose as a serious hazard in your home. Visitors may trip over or fall onto your tree, little hands may pull off decorations and topple the entire tree, pets may think it is a new chew toy or try to climb it, or possibly the base your tree is standing in fails and everything comes crashing down.
• If your tree is real, try to find a fresh one as the needles tend to dry quickly and can become a fire hazard. You can test your tree’s “freshness” by simply shaking it to see what comes off: the drier the tree, the more needles will fall off.
• If your tree is artificial, be sure to check for a fire resistant label.
• Never place a tree near open flames, such as fireplaces or candles, and always ensure you are using flame resistant or non-flammable decorations.
• Carefully inspect your Christmas lights, including the bulbs, cord, and plugs for any signs of damage. Be sure to test them before installation to check for defective wiring or bulbs that become hot.
• When aiming for the fresh snow look, avoid using spray-on snow flakes with angel hair (glass wool) directly on your tree with lights as this is a hazardous combination.
• Always secure your tree in it’s base to maximize stability, and maintain a low level of water to avoid spills that could lead to water damage.

Outdoor Decorations
• Always read the manufacturer’s guidelines before installing new decorations and ensure they are suitable for the outdoors.
• Be aware of the electrical circuit you are using, and be careful not to overload it.
• Nails or staples used to hang lights can damage the insulation in cords and the wiring inside, which could lead to shorts.
• Under no circumstances should you ever remove the ground pin on a plug, this will cause interference and could lead to electrical shock.
• If you are installing ornaments or lights, ensure all cords are safely secured in low-traffic areas to avoid tripping hazards or damage to the cords. To avoid wind or storm damage, be sure to tie down all decorations or bring them inside if it is stormy.
• During installation, check your surroundings for any hazards (such as ice) before climbing ladders. If you are climbing onto the roof, let someone know and have them spot you.
• If you are leaving your home for a period of time or going to bed, turn off your decorations to prevent them from shorting out and starting a fire. Better yet – install a timer on your decorations.

No matter what your holidays may bring…
Be sure to have Stutters Disaster Kleenup’s phone number handy if disaster strikes your home this holiday season. Our team will arrive at your home promptly and immediately begin forming a plan of action to help minimize your worries and prevent further damage.

We are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year to serve you better!
Toll Free 1-877-763-1540

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