Get things ready for the holiday season and keep your home and family safe, too. By checking off just one thing a day on the holiday safety list below, you’ll help prevent fire, burns, slips, falls, and a host of other dangerous situations. Whether you’re having guests for the holidays, or just plan on a relaxing celebration at home alone, there’s certainly no harm in taking a bit of preventative action to keep your loved ones safe.
25 days of holiday home safety
Smoke detectors safety – Take a few moments and test your smoke alarms. If necessary, replace batteries to resume operation. This one home safety task can be the difference between life and death.
Prevent slips on throw rugs – If throw rugs aren’t equipped with a non-slip backing, purchase non-slip strips and attach them to the rug. This will prevent accidental slips, trips, and falls that can lead to injury.
Prevent scalding burns – Set the hot water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or below. This will prevent accidental scalding burns during bath time.
Avoid outlet overload – During the holidays it’s easy to overload electrical outlets, but it can be avoided with a little effort. Remember to avoid plugging in more than two devices into an outlet at a time.
Clear the fireplace – Before stoking the fire on a cold night, be sure to clear the area around the hearth of decorations and other flammable materials. Read our other tips on fireplace safety.
Space heater safety – If using a space heater for extra warmth, be sure to keep it at least three feet from household combustibles. Read more about space heater safety.
Candle safety – If candles are part of your Christmas décor, be sure to make it a habit to blow them out before leaving the room. Better yet, consider switching to flameless candles as an alternative.
Extension cord damage – Before plugging in the Christmas tree and other seasonal decorations inspect all extension cords for damage.
Clutter-free walking space – Things can get crowded in the room where there is a Christmas tree, gifts, and everyday furniture. Make sure there is plenty of cleared walking room in high-traffic areas.
Anchor the tree – Keep the Christmas tree from tipping over with a tree anchor. This is especially important in homes with small children or pets.
Christmas tree watering – Live trees need to be watered every day to keep them fresh, so be sure to check the water levels each day and add more as needed. Remember, a green tree poses less threat of a fire hazard.
Be fire-ready – There should be a fire extinguisher on each floor of the house, and family members that are old enough to operate one should know how to do so.
Test windows and doors – An important part of holiday home safety is to be have a set fire escape plan. With the addition of excessive cords, wires, and Christmas decorations, there is an increased risk of fire. Ensure that all windows and doors leading out of the house open easily, and that they are wide enough to accommodate all members of the family.
Trim things up – In addition to having an escape plan, you can do your part to prevent fire, by trimming long hanging branches hanging above the chimney, flues or vents.
Keep the outdoors lit – It’s an unfortunate truth that criminal activity increases significantly during the holiday season. You can help to deter criminals from entering your home by ensuring outdoor fixtures are in working order. Replace bulbs or ensure motion sensors to keep would-be criminals away.
Keep your home in plain sight – Trim overgrown bushes, hedges, and other landscaping that may give burglars a place to hide at night. Keep an open line of vision from the house to the street.
Inspect floors – After trimming the tree and setting out other holiday decorations, inspect floors for hooks, fuses, and pieces of broken ornaments. Pets and small children can injure themselves after swallowing these small objects.
Carbon monoxide alarms – If you don’t already have a carbon monoxide alarm in your home, make it a point to get them. They should be located near the sleeping quarters for maximum effect. Once in place, be sure to check the batteries and replace as needed.
Safe cooking – When cooking those delicious holiday meals, be sure to keep the handles of your pots and pans turned inward. This will prevent them from being accidentally bumped or grabbed.
Post emergency numbers – Post emergency numbers to poison control, fire and rescue, and local police in a visible area of the house. Keep them all in one central location for easy access.
Keep cords corralled – When using extension cords for holiday decorating, make sure cords are kept safely along walls and out of doorways to prevent trips and falls.
Stop nosey children – Children are notorious busy-bodies during the Christmas season, so be sure to keep them safe by installing safety locks on cabinet doors, drawers, and doors. This will keep them away from poisonous chemicals, protect against door and drawer slams, and also keep the secrets of Christmas just that – A secret.
Keep sharp objects stored – Wrapping Christmas gifts may not seem like it could pose a danger, but if a pair of scissors is left on the chair or sofa, you can imagine the injury it could cause. Thus, be sure to put away scissors and other supplies after gift wrapping.
Indoor or outdoor? – When decorating outdoors for the holidays, double check the labels and ensure that what you’re using is approved for outdoor use. Just because a cord is green in color, does not mean it is ‘outdoor’ approved.
Be prepared for elderly guests – If you’ll be hosting overnight visitors of an advanced age, be sure to install grab bars around the shower and toilet. Grab bars work as leverage for raising and lowering oneself safely from either location.
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