‘Tis the season of love, laughter, gifts and good cheer… but it also, in some cases, can bring us injuries, accidents, and even scams and even thieves. However, with a little awareness and some planning and thinking ahead, your holiday season can indeed be merry and bright.
Ah the Christmas tree…. Just as people today decorate their homes and apartments during the holidays, in the past evergreen trees and boughs were hung over doors and windows, believing that the trees that stayed green year round would protect them from spirits, bad omens and even illness.
Today, evergreen Christmas trees are grown in all over Canada and can be found in nearly every home. The trees in our homes, whether real or artificial, have become the centerpiece of the holiday décor, a showplace for our favorite childhood ornaments, family heirlooms and more. It goes without saying that with such sentiments attached, keeping it all safe is of the utmost importance. So when decorating your home, you should keep the following things in mind:
When choosing your tree, if you do not have an artificial tree, fresh is always best. The fresher the tree, the less likely it will become dried out quickly, staving off the chance of ignition from bad lighting or nearby candles. Remember to water your tree often. It loves the water and it will stay fuller, more nourished and less likely to shed all over your floor for weeks with proper care. If you are using an artificial tree, take a moment to be sure that it is flame retardant. Keep in mind that both natural and artificial trees should have room to spare. Never place them closer than three feet from candles, fireplaces, space heaters, heat vents or other heat sources.
Lights are beautiful and they give life to everything around them. When choosing your lighting, be sure to check for the certification mark of an accredited certification organization such as CSA International, UL or ELT. That goes for extension cords, spotlights, string lights, gas appliances and carbon monoxide alarms as well. Basically, if you plug it in, be sure to check it out.
READ MORE: According to the Canada Safety Council, 187 people lose their lives each year due to holiday fires.
When you are ready to start putting up those twinkling lights, check for frayed cords, cracked lamp holders and loose connections. And though this should go without saying, please always make sure that the lights are off when you replace bulbs. The holidays are a great time to clean up clutter and test your smoke alarms too. Be sure to add safety checks to your to-do list for a stress-free season.
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