Christmas decorations do much to make the holiday season feel more festive, more celebratory. At the same time, you might be surprised by how many household accidents and fires Christmas decorations can cause. The holiday season is the most disaster-prone time of the year, for homeowners—which makes it imperative to know what you can do to put safety first, even while decorating for the holidays.

The tips we’ve listed here are by no means exhaustive, but they will at least get homeowners thinking about safety. We encourage HOA board members to share these tips with all those who live around them as proactive Homeowner Decorating Tips for everyone!

  • When you purchase a tree, make sure to get one that is fairly flame resistant. The best options are to either get a live tree, or to get one marked with a Fire Resistant label. In neither case will this totally avert the threat of fire, but the tree itself will resist burning and the fire itself can be extinguished quickly.
  • When setting up the tree, make sure there are several feet between the tree and any fireplaces or radiators. Make sure the tree stand is filled with water at all times.
  • Also ensure that you’re placing your tree somewhere far from any doorways or hallways; the last thing you want is for it to be an obstacle for yourself, your family members, your kids, visitors to your home, etc.
  • Check all your strings of lights before you set them up, and discard any strings that have frayed wires or cracked sockets. These strings could prove serious fire hazards!
  • As bulbs burn out, promptly replace them, checking to make sure you’re replacing them with bulbs of the same wattage.
  • Don’t put electric lights on a metal tree; that becomes a serious electrocution hazard!
  • Make sure outdoor lights that you use are, in fact, approved for outdoor use—and that you’re firmly attaching them to trees or to the home itself. You want to make sure they’re not getting subjected to too much wind damage.
  • Turn off your Christmas lights when you leave the house—or when you go to bed, for that matter.
  • When using real candles, use non-flammable holders, and keep them away from trees, curtains, and drapes.

Safety and fun do not have to be mutually exclusive—and for homeowners, preventing accidents should be a top holiday priority!

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