Holiday Decorating Safety Tips

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The following is a guest post by Rachel Blackburn.

Growing up, my mom, sister and I would decorate the house for the holiday. We would spend hours hemming and hawing over what went where, and my dad would generally escape the mayhem and go string lights on the outside of the house (smart man).

Now that I have kids of my own, I want them to enjoy the excitement of decorating the house for Christmas.  But safety comes first, so when I get the kids involved, I have to find a balance between safe and fun.
 
Christmas Tree Safety
 
Water your tree daily and keep it away from heat sources. If you have an artificial tree, look for one that says fire resistant on the packaging.
 
Christmas lights are so beautiful and a holiday staple! When purchasing your holiday light, make sure to choose ones that have been safety-tested. That is usually identified on the package.
 
Whether the lights are new or used, check the cord for frayed or bare wires, broken or cracked sockets and loose connections.
 
Don’t plug multiple extension cords into the same outlet.  That could start an electrical fire.
I place my ornaments in two categories:
1. “Pretties:” Three to four feet up the tree is where I place the family heirloom, glass and other festive fragile ornaments. The kids can’t reach those!
 
2. Kid-friendly: The kid-friendly ornaments are hung below the “pretties” and I don’t need to worry about the kids stepping on a broken ornament or pulling it off the tree.
 

Holiday Decoration Safety

Holiday decorations are very colorful and festive. For example, fake snow may seem real for a child, which he may try to eat. If your decoration looks like candy, snow or anything edible, keep it out of reach.

Also, tinsel and fake icicles used to contain lead, which is very harmful. Keep these out of reach, whether it contains small traces of lead or not.

Holiday Light Safety

I love seeing the houses dressed in holiday lights! As pretty and rewarding as the outcome is, safety should always be a priority.

Make sure outdoor lights are securely fastened to the wall or roof in case of strong winds or bad weather.

Turn off the lights when you go to bed.  If a string of lights shorts-out and starts a fire while you are asleep, the results could be devastating.

Never use electric lights on a metallic tree.  If the lights short-out the tree could become charged and electrocute anyone who touches it.

The holidays are a special time of year.  It is when everyone focuses on family, friends and what matters most to us.  We getting our kids involved and teach them about generosity, gratitude, what it means to be a family and we reflect on the past year as well as the year to come. So, roll up your sleeves, get creative with your kids, and decorate to your heart’s content!

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