4 Steps to Making Your Home Safe For the Holidays
Health and Nutrition Family meals, holiday parties, a glowing fireplace and halls decked with glitter and greenery — there’s no place like home for the holidays. Seasonal preparations often overlook important safety measures, however, and that can lead to unwanted home hazards, especially in households with small children.
To help ensure your holiday home is safe, the American Home Furnishings Alliance offers these four steps you can take today:
1. Holiday bells
Check all smoke detectors. You should have one in every bedroom and on each floor. In three out of five home fires involving a fatality, there is no working smoke detector, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Fire risks increase in December, thanks to glowing fireplaces, holiday candles and other decorations, so check this off your list first.
2. Deck the walls
Before you hang the wreaths and garland, deck your walls with any necessary tip restraints. If you have young children or expect any as visitors over the holidays, remember that dressers, chests and bookcases all pose tip-over hazards when not anchored to the wall. Make sure all TVs are on furniture that is low to the floor, sturdy and designed to accommodate the size and weight of the TV. If small children will be playing nearby, the TV should be secured to the wall or to the furniture. Today’s flat-panel TVs are especially susceptible to tipping when the furniture is bumped or moved, which can easily happen with extra guests in your home.
3. Decoration danger
Holiday decorating often requires the use of extension cords, and these can cause both fire and tripping risks, especially with excited youngsters at play. Don’t connect one extension cord with another, and don’t overload your outlets with power strips. Do not run cords under rugs, and be sure you avoid creating a tripping hazard with cords strung across doorways, stairways or walkways.
4. No little lords ’a leaping
If there are bunk beds in your home, remind young overnight guests not to jump on (or off) the top bunk or the ladder. Be aware that furniture manufacturers, along with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, do not recommend bunk beds for children younger than six.
“We hope homeowners will remember these important tips, so everyone has a safe and happy holiday season enjoying friends and families in their homes,” said Jackie Hirschhaut, vice president of AHFA.