Top Five Holiday Home Hazards

1. Shoveling

It’s important to keep entry ways clear of snow and ice to prevent injury from slips and falls. But, it’s just as important to make sure you’re shoveling correctly so as not to hurt yourself. Avoid pulling your back by bending at the knees, keeping your back straight, tightening your stomach muscles, and lifting with your legs.
Also making sure your windows and roof line around your front door are free of hanging icicles. They are pretty but as they melt and fall can hit and injure someone.

2. Christmas Tree

If your sniffling and sneezing coincide with the arrival of your freshly cut Christmas tree, you could be reacting to skyrocketing mold spore counts. If you must have a real tree in your home, prevent allergic reactions for guests and loved ones by hosing your tree down, spraying it with a mold-resistant sealant like M-1 Sure Cote, and allowing it to dry before bringing it indoors.
Mold spore counts might be lower with living trees, and lower still with artificial trees. But, keep in mind that some mold can grow on living trees in nature and that dust accumulates while artificial trees are in storage. Also, ask growers about the pollination behavior of your tree: Mountain cedar trees pollinate in late November to early December, so allergy sufferers should steer clear of that variety. Allergy sufferers should consider wearing an allergy relief mask while decorating and keeping an air purifier in the room of the display.

All trees should be placed in a sturdy stand rated for the tree’s size and positioned in a low-traffic area, where pets and kids won’t pose a tip-over risk. Meanwhile, when decorating avoid real or artificial candy and popcorn: They’ll lure kids to tug at the tree and pose choking hazards if children take a bite. Trees are involved in hundreds of fires every holiday season; keep reading for ways you can lower the risk in your home.

3. Snow and Ice

It’s important to keep walkways clear of snow and ice to prevent injury from slips and falls. But, it’s just as important to make sure you’re shoveling correctly so as not to hurt yourself. Avoid pulling your back by bending at the knees, keeping your back straight, tightening your stomach muscles, and lifting with your legs.
Also making sure your roof line and entry way are free of hanging icicles. They are pretty but as they melt and fall can hit and injure someone.

4. Falls from Hanging lights

Every year, more than 500,000 people are injured as a result of falling off of ladders. If you’re hanging holiday lights this year, don’t do it alone; a pair of helping hands goes a long way to ensuring your safety. Make sure your ladder is level, don’t overreach, and don’t ascend the ladder with your hands full. Also, as marked on many models, do not step on the two uppermost treads. Close ladders when they’re not in use to avoid having kids venture upward without supervision. You might also consider accessories like ladder jacks and levelers for added safety.

5. House Fires

Tossing wrapping paper into the fireplace may seem harmless enough, but doing so poses a flash fire risk. Split hardwood is the best thing to burn, and make sure your chimney is swept and fireplace is maintained before you light it up. Never light candles—responsible for tens of thousands of fires every year—near your holiday tree or where pets and kids may be playing; an open flame near a dry tree (indicated by the shedding of excessive needles) is a major holiday fire hazard.
To that end, keep your tree away from any heat sources, like radiators and fireplaces, which will expedite the drying process. In fact, consider adding glass fireplace doors for a measure of safety. Cutting away a sliver from the bottom of your new tree’s trunk will allow it to absorb more moisture and slow drying time. If tree watering will slip your mind, consider investing in a reusable artificial tree or try an automatic watering system like the Quench-A-Tree, which looks like a wrapped gift. Whatever you do, keep your tree watered and away from flames

Christmas time is about making memories- Happy ones not ones where your family gets injured! We hope these tips keep you a little safer and jolly this holiday season.

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