Home fires are common during the holidays, many the result of holiday lighting.
Test your smoke detectors to make sure they’re working properly and replace any that have stopped working.
Keep live trees adequately watered. If you can pull needles from a tree with little effort, the tree needs more water.
If you’re using an artificial tree make certain that it is fire rated.
Look carefully at all strings of lights before you hang them. Replace any with frayed wiring. Covering frayed wires with electrical tape isn’t worth the risk to your home.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 160 decorating-related injuries happen every day during the holiday season, with more than half involving falls.
When installing decorations, use the right ladder for the job, and make sure the ladder is secure before climbing.
Before hosting guests, make certain that walkways are well-lighted and that they are clear of ice, snow or leaf debris that can become slippery when wet.
If you have decorations that require power, make certain that you use weighted strips that will both conceal and hold steady any electrical cords that can be a tripping hazard.
Be safe on ladders while taking down your holiday lighting.
If you’re working anywhere near powerlines, use a wooden or fiberglass ladder. Touching a metal ladder to a powerline or having one arc over onto a ladder you are standing on may send you to the emergency
As tempting as it may be to end your holidays next to a warm, inviting fire, don’t assume that your chimney is clean because it hasn’t been used since last Christmas.
Make sure the flu opens and shuts properly. A closed flu or one that slips closed will fill your house with smoke. Even small amount of chimney buildup can allow carbon monoxide to enter the house.
Keep a good carbon monoxide detector close to the fireplace. Better an obnoxious alarm sounds than not if there is carbon monoxide in the air.
If everyone feels sleepy suddenly, or gets a headache get everyone out of doors immediately and call 911.
It may not be the best idea to act as your own chimney sweep. Hire someone who is comfortable around roofs, ladders and chimneys.