The holidays are upon us and we all have our own special way of celebrating. For some of us, that means hosting our families and friends and for others, traveling during the holidays to visit friends and/or family. Or maybe, you enjoy pulling out the decorations (and lights) and making your home looks and feel festive. No matter what you enjoy most about the holidays, make sure you stay safe. We’ve come up with a list of helpful tips, no matter what your holiday plans are or where they take you.
HOSTING SAFETY TIPS
Are your plans to host guests? Make sure your home is ready and safe for the crowd. Although here in Orlando, we don’t often need to turn on the heat or use space heaters in the winter, it’s a good thing to keep in mind. According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), heating equipment is a leading cause of fires in U.S. homes. In fact, during the months of December, January and February, half of all heating equipment fires are reported. You owe it to your family and your guests to schedule an preventative maintenance tune-up to ensure your system continues to operate safely. Next, take the time to check the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
HOLIDAY DECORATING SAFETY
As much as we love decorating with lights, it’s important to be mindful of the inherent dangers associated with anything electrical. December is the deadliest month for electrical fires, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Before stringing up a single light, check each strand to make sure none have frayed cords, broken plugs or cracked bulbs and discard any damaged ones. To prevent your family members or guests from tripping, route cords away from traffic areas inside your home. Also, when mounting lights don’t use nails or tacks that might damage the cords, instead try using hooks or staples.
Another great tip is to make sure the lights used to decorate the outside of the house are approved for outdoor use and likewise, indoor lights should be approved for indoor use. Always turn any holiday lights off when you go out for the evening or when you go to bed. We’ve found using an outdoor timer or smart outlet to switch lights on and off is a great way to relieve the stress and worry of forgetting this task.
TRAVEL SAFETY TIPS
If you are planning to travel during the holiday season, it’s smart to keep your travel plans off of social media networks. It’s never a good idea to post where you’re going, when you’re leaving, and when you’ll be back. You don’t want to broadcast to others when your home is going to be empty.
Before leaving town, contact a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your house and report any suspicious activity. Have the neighbor pick up your mail and newspaper. This helps deter a burglar if it looks like somebody is home. I recommend using smart plugs and/or smart bulbs to control your lights or even utilize motion sensor lights to give the impression that someone is home.
Whether you’reentertaining at home, looking to be a standout in your neighborhood for holidaydecorations, or planning to travel this holiday season, take our advice for asafe and happy holiday season. At Rainaldi Home Services we’re your 24/7emergency HVAC company in the Orlando area. Give us a call (407) 413-9795 withany of your questions or HVAC needs. We’re always happy to help out!