Unfortunately the Holidays can also bring tragedy if were not careful.

The Holidays each year bring joy and happiness to our homes as we hang festive decorations and invite family and friends to celebrate. Unfortunately the Holidays can also bring tragedy if were not careful. One of my favorite shows to watch each December is National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and while this movie is quite funny, it could also be used as a training film of what NOT to do this Holiday Season.

“Is your house on fire Clark?  No, Aunt Bethany, those are the Christmas lights.”

While the chances of the heat put off from your lights causing a fire are pretty slim, the overloading of circuits and cords is much more probable. There are a couple things to consider prior to plugging these lights in:

1. Make sure the lights are in good working order with no bare wire. 

2. Make sure lights are UL Listed.

3. If decorating outdoors make sure they are rated for both indoor and outdoor use.

4. Verify how many strands of lights it is safe to connect end to end, the general rule of thumb is three (3).

5. Do not overload extension cords. Extension cords have wattage ratings, if you exceed the rating of these cords this may cause overheating and then a fire can occur.

“If the cat had nine lives, he just spent them all.”

Remember your pets this holiday season by considering these simple tips to keep them safe:

1. Time to forgo the tradition of Holly and mistletoe, these items are poisonous to both dogs and cats

2. Do not put lights on the trees lowest branches, your pets playing with these can cause burns, entanglements, and if bitten through it could be “shocking”

3. Burning candles should be kept high and out of the way of a pet. Wagging tails could end up a bit too close for your pet’s safety.

“Hey Gris, if you’re not doing anything constructive, run into the living room and get me my stogie.”

While artificial trees add a level of safety during the Holidays, many people still love the tradition of a real tree this time of year. Taking time in choosing the right tree, the right placement,  and the right care will help insure a safe holiday season. Keep these tips in mind:

1. Always chose a tree that is fresh cut if you are not cutting your own. To determine this touch the branches and needles, an older cut tree will have needles fall off to your touch.

2. When you get home cut 2 inches off the trunk of the tree.

3. Keep your tree a minimum of three feet away from heat sources such as candles, fireplaces, radiators and yes, even heat vents.

4. Water your tree daily to keep those needles green

5. Always turn lights off when leaving or going to bed.

While I can’t help you with Aunt Bethany or Eddie this Christmas, hopefully these few tips will allow you to have safe and Merry Christmas.