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3 Holiday Entertaining Tips for Your Home and Children

The holiday season is typically a festive and eventful time of the year for most families. ?Time with friends, neighbors, family, and often an increase in overnight guests. ?HomeMD Inspection Services?wants to ensure that your home is safe when it comes to hosting holiday parties in your Louisville home.

According to a recent consumer survey conducted by the Electrical Safety Foundation (ESFI), nearly 60 percent of people expect to host guests in their homes during the holiday season.

home entertaining safety for children

Preparing for the arrival of guests – and often their children – during an already eventful time of the year can be challenging. While festive decorations, savory food, and the perfect gifts may seem like the most important aspects of holiday entertaining in your home, remember not to overlook the safety of your guests.

According to the ESFI, there are a few safety tips and resources that will help keep your holiday guests – and children – safe against holiday accidents.

Childproof Decorating Tips: ?The holidays are a magical time of year for children, who take pleasure in the bright lights, wonderful treats, and shiny new toys that come with the season. The safety of children – a high-risk population for fire deaths and home injuries – must be a primary concern during the holiday season.

  • keep candles, matches, and lighters out of reach of children
  • use battery-operated candles instead of traditional candles
  • keep strings of lights and garland out of the reach of young children to avoid strangulation hazards
  • try to avoid sharp or breakable ornaments
  • avoid using small mouth-sized decorations near the ground or the lower part of the Christmas tree
  • never allow small guests to play with lights, electrical decorations, or cords
Smoke Alarm Safety Tips: ?Make sure your family is protected by working, property installed smoke alarms. ?Smoke alarms save lives, yet many homes and families are not adequately protected by this proven safety technology.
  • Smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home
  • Choose alarms that bear the label of a nationally-recognized testing laboratory
  • If possible, alarms should be mounted in the center of the ceiling
  • Test smoke alarms on a monthly basis by pressing the TEST button
  • Batteries for battery-operated or battery back-up alarms should be replaced at least once a year. If an alarm ?chirps? or ?beeps,? it should be replaced immediately
  • Occasionally dust or lightly vacuum the exterior of the alarm to remove dust and cobwebs
  • All smoke alarms should be replaced at least every ten years, or sooner if indicated in the manufacturer’s instructions
Space Heater Safety: ?While portable electric space heaters can be a convenient source of supplemental heat for the home in cold weather, they also increase the risks of fire and electric shock if not used properly.
  • Read the manufacturer’s instruction manual before using any space heater.
  • Check to make sure the heater bears the mark of a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or Intertek (ETL).
  • Keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from any combustible materials, such as bedding, clothing, draperies, furniture, rugs, and holiday decorations.
  • Do not use space heaters in wet or damp areas unless the manufacturer’s instructions indicate that it is intended to be used in wet locations such as bathrooms.
  • Portable heaters have hot parts that can cause sparking. Do not use them in areas where flammable liquids such as gasoline or kerosene are used or stored and never leave a child unsupervised around a space heater
  • Space heaters are meant to supply supplemental heat.? Don’t use them to warm bedding, cook food, dry clothing or thaw pipes.
  • Plug portable space heaters directly into an outlet; do not use an extension cord. ?Make certain the circuit into which you plug a space heater can adequately and safely handle the added demand.
  • Unplug and safely store portable space heaters when not in use.
ESFI recommends following these safety precautions to ensure that this special time of the year remains merry and bright – free from careless mistakes that often result during this time of the year.

For more great holiday safety tips, be sure to visit?ESFI’s?Top 10 Holiday Safety Tips?for illustrated holiday safety reminders!