At CEO Restoration, keeping you safe is a huge priority. Disaster normally strikes at the least opportune moment, don’t let it snow (rain for us Floridians) on you this Christmas. This holiday season, we want to help stay safe by offering some critical holiday safety tips!
Nothing spells out the holidays quite like a nice, flush Christmas tree. Whether it’s real or fake, these trees bring a wonderful ambiance, making it finally feel like the holidays once the tree is up. Unfortunately, your beautiful tree also brings a list of potential hazards with it.
If you’re like me, once the Thanksgiving left-overs are completely gone, it’s time to start looking for a Christmas tree. Nothing spells out the holidays quite like a nice, flush Christmas tree. Whether it’s real or fake, these trees bring a wonderful ambiance, making it finally feel like the holidays once the tree is up.
According to the eighth annual Christmas tree survey from the American Christmas Tree Association (ACTA) conducted by Nielsen, 20% of Americans go out of their way to buy real Christmas trees year after year. Meaning not only do 20% of Americans still partake in how difficult it is to choose the “right” tree but that the same 20% are exposing themselves and their families to a big fire hazard.
Having a healthy tree goes a long way in protecting yourself from any damage. Live trees require lots of water, so be sure to maintain a regular water level and refill it frequently. A dry tree can easily catch fire, so trim about an inch from the bottom of the tree to help it absorb the water.
Another great way to avoid any fires is to skip the real tree and buy an artificial one. Be sure to choose one made up of fire-resistant materials, that way your living room looks great and stays safe. Be extra careful when using any spray on snow products.
When it’s time to decorate the house, the lights are always a mess. Check for damaged or scratched lights or outlets. Always use inside lights inside and outside lights outdoors. DO NOT use indoor lights outside as they are not built to resist outdoor elements. Failure to do so can cause electric shock, which leads to fires. After the festivities, take down outdoor lighting as soon as possible. They are not created for extended exposure, even if they are made to withstand outdoor conditions.
In addition to your lights, when plugging into electrical sockets, be careful not to overload them. Overloading outlets occurs when too many cords are plugged in a single outlet. Remember: It’s always a good idea to unplug all holiday lights and decorations when going to sleep, or when stepping out of the house.
When setting up candles, house them in sturdy, non-combustible containers away from flammable materials and decorations. Candles should be at least 3 inches apart so they don’t affect each other. Candles should also be at a height where pets and kids won’t disturb them. Trim and maintain your candlewicks before lighting to be sure they burn evenly. Wicks that are uneven or too lengthy can cause an uneven burn or drip. Check on your candles routinely so they do not drip wax or burn too low.
It’s easy to get lost in all that is Christmas, especially in the kitchen. Don’t leave ovens or stoves unattended when cooking. This can lead to a fire hazard for your entire family, don’t take the chance. In the U.S., cigarette-induced fires are the leading cause of deaths in homes.
If you have family members that smoke, try to provide ashtrays for proper disposal of ashes and check cigarette butts on furnished upholstery.
After the kids wake up in the morning and have opened up all of the gifts Santa brought them, recycle, or trash the gift wrapping paper if not recycling is unavailable. DO NOT burn gift wrapping in a fireplace. Doing so may generate a build-up of toxic chemical fumes in the air of the home and embers that start potentially fires can.
Once the family is packed up and gone off to their respective homes, the mess is cleaned up and the all the eggnog is gone; comes time to get rid of the tree. You can take these trees to recycling centers or have them picked up on collection day. Never burn dry or old trees in a fireplace. If your tree’s needles begin to fall in bunches or your tree dries out, it might be a good idea to get rid of it sooner.
Having the family over means more mouths to feed, and the more mouths you feed the more people are using the bathroom and showers than normal. Your plumbing may react in response to this. Toilets can back-up leading to gross and messy problems. This sitting water can also lead to further damage. If not cleaned up properly, unsanitary water can cause health problems and mold in your home.
With the more people, in your home, the more chances for mishaps or small floods to happen. Pets often run around the house bumping into things, as do people when they get together, sometimes bumping into the Christmas tree. Real trees that have water bases tend to spill, and if not treated properly can lead to microbial growth beneath the base. Mold spores start to spread in less than 24 hours, making it essential to take action. If Uncle Charles falls asleep in the jet tub again and over floods your bathroom and room, you’re going to need help. Pools of water need immediate action before they cause serious damage.
With these tips, you’ll be able to minimize your risk of damage to your home and keep your family safe this holiday season. It’s important to act quickly when impacted by fire or water damage. Each problem leads into the next in a snowball effect that will give you more trouble, in the long run, so don’t hesitate. CEO Restoration aids in receiving the maximum out of your insurance policy and will work with them to repair your losses.
If you or someone you know needs any restoration in the Orlando area, send them our way before you face these battles yourselves; Call CEO Restoration at (407) 584-7779 or email us at [email protected]. We are here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with emergency services.