Decking the halls can be lots of fun, but also comes with some risks.
As you pull out the decorations, be sure to check whether your Christmas lights are rated for indoor, or outdoor use.
Indoor lights can’t withstand the harsh elements outside – the coating will wear away.
“You might not see it but it will wear down quick enough that it can cause wires to be exposed, which can cause surges or the exposed wire to get mulch caught on fire or back feed into the system and cause those fires,” said James Kubinski, Bureau Chief with the Naperville Fire Department.
But the most common cause of fires during the holidays is found indoors. Candles account for two out of five house fires.
“Make sure when you are using candles that you use them safely and that when you’re using them, somebody is around,” said Kubinski. “You want candles to be in use in the room you’re actually in, not in another room that nobody is in.”
Some decorations can also pose a danger to your pets. Ribbons and tinsel can be deadly if cats ingest them, and holly and mistletoe are toxic to pets if consumed, as is another holiday staple.
“Another thing is snow globes,” said Michelle Lenz, Animal Care Manager of the Naperville Area Humane Society. “A lot of people don’t think about snow globes but the liquid inside of them can be toxic so it’s really important that if you’re going to set out snow globes that you’re going to set them out someplace high or somewhere away from the edge of a table.”
After safely decorating the home, it’s time to hit the shops.
To make sure your presents don’t go missing during a long day of shopping, place them in your trunk and park in a brightly lit area.
If you know you’ve got presents arriving in the mail, think ahead to make sure they don’t walk away from your front door.
“If you know you’re getting a package on a certain day at home have someone there to pick it up or have it delivered to your local post office or FedEx site where you can pick the package up at the business,” said Jason Arres, Commander with the Naperville Police Department.
One last tip: if you have a real tree, water it morning and night to keep it from drying out and becoming a fire hazard.
Naperville News 17’s Blane Erwin reports.
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