While we all have more sense than to wire up Christmas decorations like Clark Griswold in Christmas Vacation, the holidays are still an important time to review household safety. After all, this is the time of year to gather together with friends and family, and it’s all the more enjoyable when you know you’ve got everything in your log home squared away. Fires become an even greater concern this time of year with all of the decorations, lights, and increased use of fireplaces. With this in mind, here are some of the most important tips for safety during the holiday season.
Inspect Cords and Lights for Damage
Decorations like Christmas lights lead to a difficult life. We may simply toss them in a box for most of the year only to pull them out for the winter. Since they are stored in such harsh conditions, it is important to inspect things like extension cords and light strands before using them. Make sure that cords have intact insulation and that there are no broken lights in your strand. When routing cables make sure to avoid pinching the wire with furniture, doors, and windows.
Don’t Overload Outlets
In addition to using safe lighting, make sure that you don’t run too much current through an outlet. For incandescent light strands, you should never run a string more than three sections long. LED lights may tolerate longer strings but check the instructions that came with the lights. Additionally, all outlets on a given circuit should not carry more than 80% of that circuit breaker’s rating. With a 15A breaker, this means you can draw 12A on the circuit for a total of around 1400W of power. While your holiday decorations will likely draw much less power than this, consider running high-current devices like vacuum cleaners on other circuits to prevent overloading.
Keep Your Christmas Tree well-watered
Since you will likely be putting lights on a Christmas tree, making sure the tree stays watered is very important for safety. A dry tree is much more likely to pose a fire hazard than a hydrated tree. Immediately before mounting the tree, cut about half an inch off the base to help ensure that the tree will take water. Make sure to water the tree every day, especially at the beginning when the tree will absorb the most water. If you will be away from home for more than a few days make sure the lights on your tree stay off.
Use Battery-Powered “Candles” and Check Alarms
According to the National Fire Prevention Association, half of all home decoration fires are started by candles. For this reason, you should seriously consider using battery-powered “candles”, especially if you have children or clumsy pets. While you are focused on safety for the season, you should also test and replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms if you haven’t done so in a while.
We hope our tips help remind everyone to stay safe this season and focus on the great times you’ll be having in a log home. It truly is our favorite time of year. If you have any questions on any of the tips we mentioned, or the log homes we featured, don’t hesitate to call Real Log Homes today or fill out the form below for more information.