It’s that time of the year again, Christmas music is playing, cookies are baking, and it’s nearly impossible to find a parking spot at the mall any time of the day or night! Stockings have been hung with care, letters to Santa have been sent, and all of the Christmas decor has finally made it’s way down from the attic, to the living room floor to be divided and dispersed throughout the entire house; both inside and out . . . After all, it is the most wonderful time of the year!
At the center of hustle and bustle of the season, you will usually find a beautifully decorated Christmas tree. Some are short, some are tall, some are plump and some are narrow, some are “themed” trees, and some are filled with old family memories . . . but none the less, most homes have at least one (or more) up during this special time of year. Putting up trees can be exasperating, in fact, we usually set aside an entire day to get the job done! From going to the farm to cut one down and strapping it to the top of the car, to pulling it out of a box and assembling all of the pieces, putting up a tree definitely requires a bit of “elbow” grease and a whole lot of patience. Should you go with colored lights for the kids, or clear lights to please mama? Should you use homemade garlands or store bought ribbon? How about new ornaments verses old ones that have a special memory behind them?
There is definitely no “right way” to put up a Christmas tree, but there is a “right way” to take care of one. Every year, 250 or more home fires are started by a Christmas tree, causing an average of 16 deaths and 13.1 million dollars worth of property damage . . . these fires are a very serious matter, but don’t lose heart, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure a safe and happy holiday season.
- Selecting the “perfect” tree for your family – If having a real tree adds to your Christmas experience, be sure to pick a tree that is slightly sticky to the touch. If the needles are already falling off, it has been cut too long and will be more of a fire hazard. Remember, fresh is best!
- Caring for your tree- This is an important one friends! Although they are lovely to look at, a fresh tree should never be up for more than 2 weeks, and the tree stand should always be filled with water. It is also very important not to place your tree near a heat source, that means that fire places and heating vents are not the right spot to display your holiday splendor.
- Lights – Let’s face it, lights are a HUGE part of the holiday experience, but they are also one of the most dangerous parts. Broken plugs, kinked or frayed wires are an accident waiting to happen. Be sure to check your lights every season and make the investment of new lights every 5 years (or sooner if needed) to ensure safe lighting for your tree. Always remember, you should never link more than 3 strands of lights together (unless otherwise specified) and that lights should never ever be warm to the touch! Even if you are tempted, be sure to turn off your tree lights when leaving your home, Santa won’t mind, we promise!
- Holiday Candles – They are pretty, they smell amazing, and their soft lighting gives a warm and inviting glow to a room, but candles can be very DANGEROUS if not used properly! Be sure to use stable candle holders, be careful not to have any flammable materials close by, and above all, if there aren’t going to be people in the room. . . .BLOW IT OUT!
- Test your smoke alarms- Although we encourage you to do this several times a year, this is one of the most important times . . . be sure that your alarm is stocked with new batteries, tested and ready to go!
- Have an Escape Plan – It is so important for the entire family to know how to get out of a burning house and where to meet afterward so there is no confusion to who is out safely,and who may still be inside. Remember, you ALWAYS want to get away from the fire as quickly as possible!
- Now that we have reminded you of all of the things that can go wrong, be sure to focus on all of the things that are going right during this Christmas season. Spend extra time with your family and friends, make sweet memories, give to those less fortunate, and spread kindness wherever you go. Remember in the event of a fire, (or any other disaster) that Duraclean Services is ALWAYS ready, 24 hours a day 7 days a week to get the job done! We are able to service ALL of your Restoration needs . . . No One is Faster to the Disaster! Call anytime 410-838-7330.