The holiday season is a time of joy, warmth, and gathering with loved ones, but it also brings unique challenges to home safety. With homes either left vacant while families travel or filled to the brim with guests, ensuring that your space is prepared for the season is crucial. Adam Long, president of HomeTeam Inspection Service, emphasizes the importance of addressing safety concerns early. “Taking preventative measures ahead of time fosters a warm, welcoming holiday atmosphere where everyone can fully relax and enjoy time together,” he says.
Here are some essential steps homeowners can take to ensure a safe and joyous holiday season:
1. Test Alarm Systems
The increase in cooking and heating during the holidays raises the risk of fires, making it vital to ensure your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order. Conduct a thorough check of these systems before the holiday season starts. If you plan to travel, checking these alarms is equally important to ensure your home remains safe in your absence.
2. Radon Testing
Radon, a colorless and odorless gas, poses serious health risks, especially in well-sealed, packed homes during the holidays. Testing your home for radon before guests arrive can prevent long-term health issues and ensure a safe environment for everyone, particularly in areas like basements where guests might stay.
3. Electrical Safety
The holidays often mean more lights, decorations, and devices being plugged in, which can strain electrical systems. Check all outlets, extension cords, and wiring to prevent electrical fires. Remember, holiday lights should not be left on when the room is empty or everyone is asleep, and avoid overloading power strips and outlets.
4. Fireplace Inspection
A cozy fireplace is synonymous with holiday warmth, but it comes with its own set of risks. Have your fireplace and chimney professionally inspected and cleaned before its first use of the season. Ensure the flue is open, and the area around the fireplace is clear of flammable materials. Always use a screen to protect against flying sparks and embers.
“Even after a professional fireplace inspection or service is completed, you should still keep an eye out for any potential hazards that may arise throughout the season,” advises Long. Proper maintenance and vigilance can prevent accidents and ensure the fireplace remains a source of joy, not danger.
The holiday season should be a time of happiness and relaxation, not stress and danger. By taking these steps to ensure your home is safe, you can focus on what truly matters: enjoying time with family and friends. Prepare your home early to alleviate stress and protect your loved ones.