Tis the season

Can you believe it: Christmas is here? Candles, Christmas trees and Christmas lights have been adorning some homes since Thanksgiving or before. There are some people that cannot get “into the spirit” until they have done their decorating. It’s the dangers of decorations that I want to spend time talking about in this article.

As I have told you before, it is important that you only use electrical devices that carry a UL or FM rating. For exterior lights, test them before putting them up. If they do not work properly, replace them. Once you know that the lights work, you now have to climb a ladder to put them up. For many, this will be the first time that they have been on a ladder since last year. Make sure that the ladder is in good condition and have someone foot the ladder for you. Do not lean to the left or right off of a ladder for any reason. If you decide to climb onto your roof, be sure to intentionally maintain your footing.

Now that the outside is safely decorated, let’s move inside. Candles in windows are popular decorations. It is important that you put the proper bulbs in these candles. Improper bulbs create enough heat to ignite curtains and other nearby combustibles. Do not attempt to change bulbs moments after they blow. If a bulb breaks, be sure to unplug the candle, and use caution getting the broken piece out of the candle.

Though many folks have artificial trees, you still need to make sure that the lights work properly. For many others, they will purchase or cut live trees. The live tree can be like bringing an open container of gasoline into your home. It is extremely important to keep your tree watered. A good test before you buy the tree is to pull one of the limbs, and see if needles come off in your hand. If they do, buy another tree. This will be the test once the tree is in your house. If the tree dries out prematurely, then you must get it out of your house. It is better to use the miniature lights, instead of the larger bulbs. Be sure to unplug all electrical devices before leaving your home or going to bed.

Concerning the presents, they are the combustibles. You must keep all of your presents at least three feet from all heat sources. A heat source can be defined as a gas fireplace, a space heater, a woodstove, a receptacle or a bulb on the tree. Another thing to keep in mind about the presents is that on Christmas Day you should not burn wrapping paper in the fireplace. This has been the cause of numerous chimney fires in the past.

With all of these added decorations, it is vitally important to ensure that you have an adequate number of properly tested smoke alarms throughout your home. Another recommendation is that you practice your home escape plan. If your Christmas tree is downstairs and everyone sleeps upstairs, or the tree is between your primary exit point and your bedroom, then you must think about your secondary means of escape.

I pray that each of you have a safe and wonderful Christmas holiday. Remember, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” If you are looking for a church to attend, Bermuda Baptist will hold a Christmas Eve service on December 24 at 6:30 p.m. and a Christmas Day service at 10 a.m. God bless you all. 


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