‘Tis the Season with Mike Holmes
The holidays are officially here. I’m writing this in the middle of November – Halloween and Thanksgiving have just passed us, and now my family and I are looking forward to our Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. This is one of my favorite times of year, and it will be made even better by my daughter, Sherry’s wedding in December.
As we start to get ready for the holiday season, I like to take the opportunity to remind homeowners on how to keep their holiday season merry and bright. That means creating a safe holiday that everyone can enjoy. Here are some of my holiday tips.
Having a Fresh, Live Tree All Season
My oldest daughter goes nuts for Christmas. She’s got young kids, and Emily and Wyatt love all the holiday decorations. But she starts getting ready early. She’s got the house fully decorated by the first weekend in November early.
Two months is a long time to keep a tree alive. Keeping it watered is a must, but trees hold a lot of moisture, and can form mold, especially in humid environments. After you pick out your tree, but before bringing it into the house, give it a good spray with the hose. Wipe down the tree with a mild solution of Concrobium Mold Control on a damp cloth to remove any existing mold. Once it’s dry, spray again with Concrobium Mold Control to prevent mold spore growth. This simple job will keep the tree fresh all season long. This works for wreaths, too.
Remember, dried out Christmas trees can be a fire hazard. I’ve seen videos where a dry tree lights up in just a few minutes. Always keep your tree watered, and keep it away from any heat sources. On average, slightly over 200 trees per year catch fire. Don’t be that statistic.
Holiday Fire Safety
There’s more to a safe, happy holiday than just keeping your tree safe from fire hazards. Non-tree related holiday fires amount to over 800 per year. So what kind of steps can you take to avoid holiday hazards?
Don’t overload your outlets with excess electronics. I’d also avoid using extension cords whenever possible. At best, they provide a temporary solution, but if you are going to use one, make sure it’s compatible with the device you’re using it with.
If your home doesn’t have outdoor outlets, keep your lights inside. Do not run them from an indoor outlet, out the window or a doorway. Give your ground fault circuit interruptors (GFCIs) a test. Plug in a string of lights, and press the reset button on the outlet. If the lights shut off, and the reset button pops out – it’s working as it should. If the lights stay on, and the button pops, it’s been wired incorrectly and should be fixed by a licensed electrician.
Finally, if you’re lighting any holiday candles never leave them unattended! They should only be lit if you’ll be in the room to enjoy the glow. Snuff them out before you leave.
When the Holiday is Over
In January, when all the fun of the season is gone, it’s time to put away your decorations for another year. How do you store your tree ornaments and decorations? Throwing them back into a cardboard box is a recipe for water damage, which can lead to mold and mildew growth.
Instead, invest in some plastic tubs that can hold your holiday decorations, and at the end of each year, toss a Concrobium Moisture Grabbers pouch into the bin, which will absorb any excess moisture, and keep mold and mildew at bay.
I love this time of year because it gives me a chance to reflect back on the exciting things that have happened this past year. Between Michael’s recent wedding, and Sherry’s upcoming wedding and her first baby on the way, we’ll have a lot to celebrate this year. Whatever holiday you celebrate, I hope you have a great one, and a happy new year!