A late-night comedian once told a joke along the lines of “nothing expresses holiday cheer like dead trees and faulty wiring.”
Even in 2020 with so many changes, the Holiday Season is a favorite of many people and if anything, the though of being home for the holidays has encouraged some to go even further with decorations. In my own home, we’ve gone from some modest bows on the porch and a wreath on the door to a full set of outdoor lights, and an inflatable decoration on the front lawn.
So, with that being said, here’s a quick list of ideas to make sure that your chestnuts are the only thing roasting on an open (and hopefully friendly) fire this season.
Be sure to check all lights before you install them. Whether inside on a tree, suction-cupped to a window, or hanging on hooks outside, be on the lookout for any loose bulbs, frayed wires, or anything that generally doesn’t look right. When in doubt, REPLACE! We have a tendency to assign sentimental value to holiday items – your lights and electrical decorations should not make this list.
Also, with respect to electrical issues, please ensure that anything you use outside is described on the box as being approved for indoor and outdoor (or just outdoor) use. It only takes one short-circuit to create the spark that sets a pile of un-raked leaves ablaze. Timers are also a great idea as they give electrical wires and motors some cool-down time, but be sure that these are also rated for outdoor use if they’re going outside. When possible, cover any electrical connections with something both waterproof/water resistant, and flame retardant.
Speaking of flames, be sure to extinguish any candles before you go to sleep. A friendly fire is only one accident away from becoming an emergency. Also, if you do hang stockings by a fireplace, please be sure they’re far enough away from any flames.
Finally, almost any cat owner will tell you stories of how their best friend decided to redecorate the decorations during the Holiday season. Do yourself a favor and install a small hook somewhere to secure that tree to the wall so it doesn’t fall when Fluffy decides she wants to practice her mountain climbing skills. Also, try to avoid keeping any candles in areas where your pets like to frequent if at all possible. Tails can have a mind of their own, and nobody wants a trip to the emergency vet in the middle of the night.
From all of us at Allan Block Insurance, we wish you a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!