With Christmas around the corner, and the Minnesota heating season in full swing, we would like to share some Holiday safety tips for your home. We also have a few ideas to keep your monthly electricity and heating bills down by keeping your Christmas decorations energy efficient.
Lighting up your fireplace can be a great way to save energy on your heating bill during the holidays. Just keep in mind some common-sense safety tips.
- Before lighting the fire, make sure that the area is clear from Christmas decorations, presents, curtains, greens, or anything that could ignite.
- Make sure the flue is open and keep a screen in front of the fire while it is burning.
- Keep all wrapping paper and evergreens out of the fireplace.
According to the National Fire Protection Asc., Christmas tree fires are not common, however when they occur they are likely to be serious. A heat source too close to the Christmas tree starts one of every five (20%) of these fires.
- Before you buy a fresh tree, make sure the needles are green and the wood is not dry.
- Place the tree in a location away from heating sources like furnace vents, fireplaces or radiators. Heated rooms will dry out your tree faster, which can be a fire hazard.
- Water your tree often to decrease its flammability.
- Never use lighted candles in your Christmas tree. As always, keep lighted candles out of reach to young children.
- If you buy an artificial tree, ensure that it is “Fire Resistant”.
- Decorate your tree with only non–combustible or flame-resistant materials.
The colorful lights in and on our houses add to the fun feelings of Christmas. But the lights can short-out so take precautions.
- Make sure the lights you use outside are certified for “outdoor use”.
- If you have second-hand lights or older lights, inspect them closely for frayed wires, broken sockets, or loose connections. If you see any damage, recycle them.
- Don’t leave the Christmas lights on when you leave the house. Make a habit of turning them off (or purchase a timer) when you leave or go to bed, just as you would any other lights in your home. Leaving your Christmas lights on for 6 hours or less of daily use is a good goal to keep your energy bill down as well.
- The newer LED lights are a safer and more energy efficient choice because they use 90% less electricity then regular lights and do not run as hot.
- Make sure the circuit you are plugging your lights in isn’t overloaded.
Always have an eye out for safety, not just during the holidays but year round. Eliminate any potentially dangerous items around candles, fireplaces, or electrical connections. As always, have an emergency plan for safety in case a fire breaks out in your home.
Energy Efficiency Bonus: To save some money with your heating bill, turn your thermostat down when you have extra guests. Extra bodies in your house will create some extra warmth!