A holiday home is beautiful, but it can also be hazardous. Stay safer and keep the holidays happy by heeding these tips:
- If you have a tree, make sure it is well secured. If necessary, use cord to tie it back to a wall. This is especially important if you have pets or small children.
- If yours is a live tree, keep it watered continuously.
- Before adding lights - indoors or out - check them for frays or broken wires.
- Don't overload your extension cords!
- Be sure that all electrical cords are tucked out of the way where they can't become a tripping hazard.
- Remember that many of your favorite holiday treats can be deadly for cats and dogs - avoid leaving them where a cat or dog can reach them. Chocolate Santas don't belong under the tree!
- And speaking of poison - mistletoe, holly, ivy, amaryllis, lilies, and poinsettias are all poisonous. Keep them well out of reach of cats, dogs, and small children.
- If you leave home - even for an hour - unplug the lights on your tree.
- If you love candles, enjoy them, but only when you're in the room. Snuff them out before leaving for any length of time.
- Check your fire extinguisher, then know where it is in case of an emergency.
- If you're going to be away, even for a day, do NOT advertise the fact. In other words, don't arrange a shopping trip with friends and talk about it on social media.
- Conversely, if you have a close and trusted neighbor, do tell them and ask them to be alert to strangers in your yard.
- If you're having company, be alert to how that affects your pets. Do you need to contain them in a bedroom to avoid upset - or to avoid them running out into the street?
The holidays should be a time of joy - so do take precautions.