Holiday home decorating safety tips

‘Tis the season for festive decorating in neighborhoods all across Austin! Households will be stringing up lights, decorating trees and lighting candles. However you choose to decorate your Austin home, make sure you’re taking precautions to avoid any fire or electrical hazards. Below, we have laid out some basic, but important, holiday decorating safety tips.

Holiday lights
As with any electrical fixture, make sure that your lights are in good condition before plugging them in. If you find any cracked light sets or loose, exposed wires, buy a new set. Whether you’re purchasing new lights or reusing old sets, it’s a good idea to check for a tag indicating that they’ve have been approved by an inspection company. Finally, always make sure you turn off your lights when you’re away from home or asleep.

Festive trees
If you plan on decorating a tree, make sure that it doesn’t present a fire hazard. Keep the tree away from space heaters, a fireplace or anything that generates heat. A good rule of thumb is to place the tree three feet away from these items. Keeping your holiday tree fresh will help you avoid most, if not all, fire hazards that a holiday tree presents. Alternatively, if you’re using an artificial tree, make sure it’s flame resistant. In any case, verify that your tree is sturdy and balanced so that it doesn’t fall down.

Seasonal decorations
This time of year often calls for the use of candles as decorations. Make sure your candles are in stable holders and out of reach from pets and children. As always, it’s important to keep a watchful eye on the flame and to extinguish it when it’s no longer in use. Some households use flameless electronic candles as an alternative to avoid the fire hazards that traditional candles present. For other decorations such as ornaments or tinsel, only use those that are made with non-flammable materials.

By following these guidelines, you can help ensure that your holiday season is safe and fun. For more holiday decorating safety tips, visit these websites for the U.S. Fire Administration and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

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