❄️Guide for Staying Safe During the Holidays❄️

1. Your Christmas tree is a BIG fire hazard. (Even if it’s fake)
An average of 210 fires are caused by Christmas trees every holiday season. For tree maintenance, make sure your tree is watered. The less water, the drier the tree is, therefore, making it a bigger hazard. Keep your tree at least three feet away from all heat sources even if it is fake! Choose a sturdy stand for your tree so it is stable and will not fall.

2. Don’t put up too many lights.
We know you may want to cover your entire house in twinkly bulbs, but there is such a thing as too many. Make sure to check the output on all your lights, and NEVER plug in something that is rated higher than your outlet. You also never want to connect more than three strands of lights in one sequence. Check your older lights for cracked bulbs or split cables, and look for the UL symbol. Green indicates indoor use and red is for indoor/outdoor. Even after making sure everything is set up right and working fine we still recommend you unplug your lights when you are not home. Switching to LED lights is also a cost-efficient and safer way to decorate for the holiday season.

3. Candles are lovely, but can still be dangerous. 
Keeping candles at least 12 inches away from all items is an almost sure way to avoid a fire. Make sure that the wick of your candle is no longer than a quarter of an inch so that the flame doesn’t get big enough to cause an issue. You should also only burn your candles every hour for how big they are. For instance, burn a 5-inch diameter candle for 5 hours.

4. Keep your house warm. 
Frozen pipes can be a real nightmare for a homeowner or property owner. If you know that it is going to freeze overnight, let your faucets drip. Wrapping your pipes in Styrofoam or an old towel to try to insulate the pipes is also a great way to prevent them from freezing. Keeping the inside of your home warm is just as important. If your house gets too cold itself, pipes that are hidden or underneath the house can burst, causing damage to the floors and all your belongings.

5. Test or upgrade your smoke detectors. 
Having a faulty or old smoke detector could be tragic for you and your household. Most smoke detectors have a test button on them that will set the alarm off to ensure that it is functioning properly. Upgrading to a smart smoke detector that will text you or email you if it detects danger might not be the worst idea for your beloved home.

6. Check your heater before using it. 
Just like everything else in life, Heaters and furnaces age and start breaking after too long. Have a professional come out and check to make sure that everything is functioning properly before you attempt to use it. Cleaning out your air ducts is also an important step in using your heater because everything needs to be clear and working properly.

7. Take your furry friends into consideration when decorating
When putting plants in your home to decorate for the holidays, make sure not to include any poinsettias, mistletoe, or holly, as they can cause serious heart issues with cats and dogs. Don’t use any tinsel when decorating your tree as this can cause issues with your pet’s digestive system.

8. Cautious Cooking 
Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the United States. Cooking is a fire risk all year but during the holiday season distractions are at an all-time high. Make sure that when something is cooking you do not leave it unattended or forget about it. If you need to do something ask a family member or someone at your gathering to look after it for you.

9. Menorah Safety
Make sure that wherever you place your Menorah somewhere that is not wobbly and has a sturdy base. Your guests could bump into the table and knock the Menorah over. You should never leave your Menorah lit if you or someone is not supervising it. Once you light it do not move it as that could result in a fire. When decorating the area surrounding the Menorah be cautious of how close anything is to the candles.

10. Traveling
If you are traveling and leaving your house for the holiday season you should make sure you prepare it well. Tell your neighbors or someone living around you to keep an eye out while you’re gone. Don’t discuss your plans on social media, and upgrade or install a security system. A smart doorbell would be a great thing to install so you can see who is at your front door without being home.

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