Your Holiday Home Safety Guide
The holidays are a time to gather with family and friends to celebrate the joys of the season. The fireplaces are lit, the lights are strung, and the trees are decorated to get us all in that holiday spirit. VanDerGinst Law wants you to have the best and safest holiday so here are some holiday home safety tips for everything from lighting to security to pets.
1. Children & Pets
a. Keep all decorations out of reach, including ornaments with moving parts and those small enough to be choking hazards, such as small ornaments or tinsel.
b. Be sure your ornaments are unbreakable and free of sharp edges.
c. Avoid using decorations that look like candy to children.
d. Store scissors and other gift-wrapping items out of reach.
e. Place older ornaments that may contain lead paint out of reach.
f. Keep children and pets away from strings of lights and electrical cords.
g. Do not leave a child or pet unattended around a fire or space heater.
h. Poinsettias are mildly toxic to humans and pets, keep them out of reach.
i. Ensure your tree is secure so children and pets can’t knock it over.
2. Lighting, Decorations, & Ornaments
a. Never use lighted candles on or near a tree, real or artificial.
b. Only use non-combustible and flame-resistant materials to decorate, including your artificial tree.
c. Check your live tree for freshness prior to purchase and ensure the tree stand is always filled with water.
d. Never place your tree or other decorations near fireplaces, portable heaters, or radiators.
e. Replace old or damaged lighting, check lighted decorations for frayed wires, broken sockets, and loose connections prior to plugging them in.
f. Always check to ensure that the lights and power cords are rated for outdoor safety when using them outside.
g. Look for decorations that have a certification mark such as UL or ELT.
h. Do not overload extension or power cords.
i. Turn off all decorations and lights prior to leaving the house or going to bed.
j. Do not block doorways with any decorations.
k. Place lighted candles where they can’t be knocked over.
l. Never throw decorations or wrapping paper in a fireplace.
a. If you’re traveling, don’t post on social media that you will be gone.
b. Don’t discuss travel plans with anyone you don’t know.
c. Use your home security systems when away.
d. Have a friend or neighbor keep an eye on your home, including picking up your mail or newspaper.
One final tip, never leave the kitchen unattended while cooking! VanDerGinst Law hopes these tips will help you have a very safe and happy this holiday season!
If an accident does happen, VanDerGinst Law would be honored to help you with a personal injury claim. The consultation is free and there is never a fee unless we win. If you suffered an injury in Iowa or Illinois, contact VanDerGinst Law, P.C. at 800-960-8529.