Holiday home safety checklist

(BPT) – The holidays are a wonderful time of the year when everyone spends a little less time focusing on their day-to-day lives and a little more time on family and friends. If you’re hosting at your home this year, you’re probably already preparing your decorations and your menu for the duration of their stay.

Decorations can turn your home into a festive, winter wonderland, but they also require you to be a little more safety conscious. Here are three safety tips to keep in mind as you prepare to host holiday guests this season.

* Practice fireplace safety. A roaring fireplace can make any space a welcoming environment. To make it a safe one, make sure no decorations or flammable materials hang directly over the fireplace itself, and use a fire screen to prevent sparks from escaping. When it’s time to put out the fire, make sure it is fully extinguished before you close the flue, leave the room or go to bed.

* Make sure your laundry room is safe. As you prepare to give your holiday clothes and tablecloths a fresh wash for the season, remember to keep young children out of the laundry room. A recent study conducted by the American Cleaning Institute (ACI), revealed that 86 percent of consumers are improperly storing laundry packets. These packets contain highly concentrated detergent and can cause serious injury or illness if exposed to the eyes or swallowed. To ensure your little ones are safe, always store liquid laundry detergent packets up high and away from children. ACI urges parents and caregivers to re-evaluate their laundry routines to make sure children are safe. Visit to learn ACI’s simple laundry safety steps.

* Ornaments are better left for the eyes. When decorating your tree, consider more than just its visual appeal. Larger, more indestructible ornaments should be placed lower on the tree, while glass ornaments, or ornaments small enough to be a choking hazard for small children, should be placed higher up, out of reach.

The holidays are a magical time; they pull people from their day-to-day lives and into the traditions and celebrations of the season. Remember, by using proper safety procedures, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy all the magic the season has to offer.

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