The 12 Days of Holiday Safety

By Kim Cox:

Like it or not, winter is almost officially here in Damascus, MD… and Christmas is only a week away!

So I’ve decided to mention 12 important, life-saving safety tips that will keep you and your family safe this holiday season and through the cold winter months ahead.

And yep… most of ’em are common sense, and you may know about most, but just maybe you’ll learn a thing or two…

And even save a life…

Prevent smoke… Prevent fires… Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning…

So here are all 12 in no particular order…

  1. Replace batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. (You do have at least one on every floor of your home, don’t you?). And if they are 10 years old, replace them with new ones.
  2. Clean and inspect your chimney before using your fireplace. Hire a professional if you’re not comfortable on ladders and roofs. We don’t want you falling nd getting hurt. Flues blocked from animal nests, broken dampers, and creosote buildup can cause devastating chimney fires.
  3. Outdoor Christmas LightsVerify any outdoor lighting is designed to be for outdoor use and weatherproof. Nothing worse than rain or snow shorting out your power at a critical time, or causing a fire.
  4. Make sure outdoor decorations are mounted safely. Especially when hanging lights or decoration from gutters, or placing things on your roof. Verify that you’re not putting excess weight or stress on gutters, and don’t drill holes on your roof unless you really know what you’re doing. (If you’re not sure of the best way, please call us)
  5. Don’t overload power strips – use properly rated extension cords. When you overload a power strip or use an under-sized extension cord, heat will build up, and can start a fire.

    UL approved outdoor lights

    Use only UL and outdoor approved lights

  6. I know… it’s obvious, but if you have a real Christmas tree, water it daily to keep it from drying out. (Plus they’ll smell really nice when they’re healthy)
  7. Keep portable indoor heaters at least 3 feet away from anything that’ll burn. And turn them off when no one is around to keep an eye on them. (No portable gas heaters inside unless they are properly vented to the outside to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning)
  8. Get your furnace or boiler cleaned and tuned-up before heating season which is now, I guess). Only then will you know it’s running at peak efficiency and not spewing deadly carbon monoxide fumes into your home)
  9. If you run a gas generator, make sure you run it outside only, and keep it at least 10 feet from your home – again… to prevent carbon monoxide buildup.
  10. Keep outside gas and oil vents clear from ice and snow. Blocked vents create carbon monoxide, and can be killers.
  11.  Don’t warm up your vehicle in an attached garage. Move it outside first, and close the door.
  12. If you use a fireplace,  keep combustibles away from it. And if it’s a wood-burning fireplace, make sure to leave your damper open until the ashes are cold to prevent carbon monoxide from building up in your home.  

Whether your home is in Frederick, or Silver Spring, over to Columbia, Maryland, or any community in between, we can help!

If you have any questions, or want to schedule a
no-obligation roof or gutter analysis, call Kim at 301-368-3551 

On Top Home Improvements, Inc.
10818 Avonlea Ridge Place
Damascus, MD 20872
Tel: 301-368-3551
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