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December 16, 2014

Just a Reminder - Check Your Holiday Decorations Before You Go to Sleep Tonight!

It’s that gorgeous red and green time of year again…as well as the time for menorahs and kinaras. It is also a time when many homeowners can face unnecessary misfortune and tragedy – simply because they weren’t careful with their holiday decorations. As a vital part of the season, the home décor you choose lends a personal flair to your holiday, but make sure you’re playing it safe. Each year, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that emergency rooms treat approximately 12,500 people for injuries such as falls, burns, cuts and shocks related to holiday lights, decorations and Christmas trees. Christmas Trees This gorgeous staple of Christmas décor is lovely, but requires some attention to be trouble-free. If you’re purchasing a fresh tree, be sure it is indeed fresh. Check the stump for sticky resin. If the stump is dry, move on to another tree. Also tap the tree on the ground a few times, to check for falling needles. Needles should be flexible, deep green, and firmly attached. Older, drier trees can be a fire hazard, so make sure you keep your ‘real’ tree well-watered while it’s in your home. Be sure to place them far away from fireplaces, heating vents, or radiators. If you go with an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled ‘flame or fire resistant’. Candles Menorahs and kinaras are an essential part of the celebration of Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, but be careful when handling candles. Never use candles near greens or trees of any type. Make sure all holders are non-flammable and rest securely on a flat surface. Be aware of pets and small children near candles, and be sure to extinguish all candles whenever a room is vacant, even if it is just for a few minutes. Lights Make sure all of your lights have fused plugs, and are approved by a recognized testing laboratory. Check all lights for fraying, cracked sockets, exposed wires or other hazards. Replace all burned out bulbs with others of the proper wattage. Throw away all damaged lights – better safe than sorry! Never put more than three strings of lights on a single extension cord, and never put electric lights on a metallic tree – a charge from faulty lights can cause electrocution. Be sure to use lights designed for indoor use inside, and those designed for outdoor use outside. There are differences, so it’s best to use your lights for the purpose intended. Some lights are marked as indoor/outdoor, so when using these, you can let your imagination run wild! Like candles, unattended lights can start fires, so be sure to turn off all lights when you go to bed or when you leave your home. When fastening outdoor lights to trees, roofs or doorways, only use insulated staples or hooks designed for this purpose – don’t use nails or tacks. Your outdoor electric lights and decorations should be plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). You can get portable outdoor GFCIs anywhere electrical supplies are sold. Decorations Make sure the items you select are non-flammable or flame-resistant, and contain no lead. Items with lead can be dangerous if ingested by small children. If you use snow sprays, read the directions carefully to avoid lung irritation. Avoid decorations with small pieces that can be swallowed by youngsters. So…how did you do when you put up your holiday decor? Are your decorations up to code? Be sure to be safe this holiday season – we want you to love living in your home for years to come! And if you’re looking for the perfect home for the holidays - and all year round - don’t hesitate to call our Sales Team at (912) 756-4135, or drop us an email. We’re here to help!

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