Now that Thanksgiving is over, many families are heading out to pick up their Christmas tree, or pulling the artificial tree out of storage. Before you dive headfirst into assembling and decorating, there are some safety tips you should consider. You don’t want your tree to become a fire hazard or a danger to children, pets, or others.
- Choose your location wisely. Pick a spot where your tree is visible yet not blocking doorways or walking paths. Keep it away from the fireplace, woodburning stove, radiator, or space heaters as well, as these devices can quickly dry out your tree and increase fire risk.
- Keep your tree watered. Live Christmas trees are just that – living plants. That means they need plenty of water to stay hydrated and looking fresh. If your tree dries out, not only can it die and leave a mess of pine needles, it also becomes more flammable.
- Use approved lights. Pay attention to the box when purchasing lights. Select strands that are made for indoor use, assuming that is where your tree will be. Outdoor lights give off more heat and can once again become a fire hazard. Inspect your lights before stringing them on to ensure they all work and there are no frayed wires or broken sockets. If you’re unsure, it may be worthwhile to simply invest in new lights.
- Don’t overload sockets. Avoid plugging multiple cords into a single outlet or overloading your surge protector. You may end up blowing a circuit or sparking a fire. Always unplug your tree and any decorations when you leave or go to bed as well, just to be safe.
- Decorate strategically. If you have small children, put any breakable ornaments up high where they cannot reach them. Also try to use decorations that hang with loops of string rather than sharp hooks, at least for those ornaments placed lower down on the tree.
And of course, once your tree starts to wither and pine needles begin shedding, it’s time to toss it out. Don’t try to keep your tree past its prime because this can create even more problems and safety concerns.
Have fun decorating with family and friends this year, but also be mindful of everyone’s safety. Check your HOA rules before hanging outdoor lights or decorations so you know what is acceptable and when decorations can go up and must come down. Partner with a property management team like Kuester to ensure homeowners stay informed about holiday guidelines, expectations, and safety. Contact us today for more information!