Holiday Safety Tips For Homeowners

Holiday Safety Tips You Can Be Aware Of This Year To Make For An Enjoyable Holiday

Tis' the season for some much needed holiday safety tips! It's hard to deny that the months of November and December are the most anticipated months of the year. With family, friends, gifts and lots of great food, how can one not get excited?

Of course, between burning the turkey or having to struggle with Christmas lights, there is always that underlying expectation that something will go wrong, right? To help we have put together a short list on how to avoid some common household holiday mistakes for home owners.

Five Holiday Safety Tips

As one of Tampa Bay's best home inspection companies, we see many of the following safety tips being ignored. If you go year after year without checking on your home's safety features, you could end up with some pricey structural issues to deal with.

Christmas Tree Safety

Did you know that, on average, over 160 house fires are started each year because of Christmas trees? Most of these fires started near the end of December and January when natural Christmas trees begin to dry. Furthermore, many of the fires started between the hours of 6pm and midnight when we are usually asleep.

So, what is the best way to avoid a Christmas tree fire? Since the lights are a culprit in about 17% of the reported cases, you will want to check your Christmas tree lights for defects. If you see any frayed wires or any missing bulbs, it is time to replace them. Cords and plugs are also a major contributor. Double check to see how you have your lights installed. Do you have plugs inserted into plugs and inserted into more plugs? This may present a fire hazard. Lastly, check you outlets for any defects. Loose outlet covers or exposed wiring may present an unsafe electrical environment.

Of course, always unplug the tree before going to bed.

Kitchen Safety

We're sure you are an expert in the kitchen. However, even the most experienced chef can make mistakes when attending to the needs of several family members at once. To avoid any dangerous missteps in the kitchen, here are some helpful holiday safety tips to help you stay safe.

  • Be sure to keep cooking surfaces clean at all times. A clean kitchen surface helps to mitigate grease buildup, which can cause fires under the right circumstances.
  • Know your oven. Set timers for any food that is cooking and be sure to keep kids and pets out of the kitchen to help avoid unexpected burns.
  • Be aware of clothing. Roll up your sleeves when cooking and be sure to limit the amount of hand towels you have in the cooking area.

General Home Fire Safety

The holidays are actually a perfect time to check your fire and smoke alarms to ensure they are operational. Smoke alarm batteries usually need to be changed every 6 to 12 months, unless you have sealed smoke alarms, which should be replaced every 10 years.

  1. Locate your smoke alarm
  2. Press and hold the test button until you hear the siren
  3. If the siren sounds weak, distorted or there is no sound at all, you will want to replace the batteries or the entire smoke alarm if it is a sealed unit.

Consider adopting a fire exit plan. Share this plan with your family and guests during the holidays. Your plan should have at least two unobstructed exit points and instructions for a common meeting point should an emergency occur. The end of the driveway is often a safe meeting point. If you have any guests that smoke, be sure to designate a comfortable area outside where they can do this. Have ashtrays and water on hand to pour on any smoldering cigarette butts.

Solid Rock Inspection Group, Clearwater, FL, Holiday Safety Tips For Home Owners

Change Your Air Filters

Depending on what type of HVAC System you have, you should check to see if the air filter needs to be replaced. A basic fiberglass filter typically needs to be replaced every month while a pleated air filter should be replaced every three months to a year. Making sure your air filters are clean and fresh will help your guests breathe easily (literally), especially those with sensitive allergies. Plus, switching out your air filter regularly can help prevent mold from settling in, which is a common issue here in the humid Tampa Bay area.

Recycle That Wrapping Paper

We know it is tempting, but please don't burn your wrapping paper. For some, throwing your wrapping paper, bows and ribbons can be a holiday tradition. However, the composition of materials used in holiday gift wrapping can cause a harmful chemical reaction when it is burned. In fact, if you want to maintain a holiday that is as environmentally friendly as possible, follow some of these rules.

  • Don't use bows in your gift wrapping. Bows aren't recyclable. They are extremely difficult to sort out of recycled paper. If you must use bows, consider starting a collection and reuse them for next year.
  • Don't use ribbons. Aside from not being recyclable, they cause a mess at paper mills and can clog sorting machines at your local waste facility.
  • Avoid metallic wrapping paper. Not all paper products are created with sustainability in mind. Wrapping paper is a common enemy to recycling. Paper with sparkles, foil stamping, glitter or plastic coatings are actually not recyclable. Tape, sticky labels, ribbons and bows that are stuck to the paper make recycling even more complicated.

Contact Solid Rock Inspections Group For Your Next Home Inspection

Not only do we have your back when it comes to the holidays, but we have you covered when it comes to inspecting your home whether for a 4 point inspection for insurance or a thorough home inspection for a new home you may be buying. Getting a home inspection can help save you time, money and hassles during the home buying process. It can help you get discounts off your insurance premiums as well. We proudly offer home and commercial inspection services throughout Tampa Bay, Clearwater, Pinellas and Pasco counties. Call us today at (727) 386-8627 to schedule an inspection or contact us on our website here.

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