In many homes, the arrival of the holiday season means putting up the Christmas tree. Beautiful, glowing, and warm, a Christmas tree can light up a home like nothing else. Real or artificial in any theme you choose, it's sure to put smiles on faces. But what about safety? Beyond being beautiful, your tree needs to be safe. To keep your home and family safe, follow these safety tips.
Lights and Electrical
Your Christmas tree lights might be the most problematic place for safety. Firstly, never use candles on the tree. Lights should ideally be LEDs, as they stay cool to the touch. Traditional incandescent light bulbs heat up easily. Be careful not to plug in too many sets of string lights together. It seems ideal that these lights can be made into very long chains by plugging them into each other, but it can be unsafe. They are all being plugged into one electrical outlet, and as any electrician will tell you, it may overload.
So if you want to have multiple strings of lights on the tree, create multiple chains and plug them into different outlets. Also, be aware of your tree's distance from an electrical outlet. Real trees, especially, are prone to fire as they dry out. Keep a safe distance from outlet to tree, in case of an electrical problem. If you have an older home or are questioning the safety of any of your electrical outlets, consult a qualified electrician.
Also have a foot pedal that turns the lights on and off. This prevents you from keeping the lights turned on longer than intended, since turning them off is so convenient.
Decorations on the Tree
For those with small children, be wary of glass or other delicate ornaments. They can shatter easily and cause injury. Be watchful of ribbon, as long strings can prove a strangulation hazard. Long strings of tinsel or the string lights themselves are the same. Small, tiny ornaments can be enticing to little ones and go straight in the mouth. Of course, they should also be watched carefully around the outlets you are using to light your Christmas tree.
Electricians have long advised on the harm between children and electrical outlets. If you have pets, a lot of the same rules apply. They can break ornaments and get hurt. They can get hung up on ribbon or cords. They may also eat tinsel, which can be very dangerous to them.
Christmas is a wonderful time of year. Keep your Christmas safe this year and every year. Contact a general contractor for information about what else you can do.