Holiday window decorating is a time-honored tradition, one that adds immeasurable joy to the festive season, but if proper precautions are not taken, holiday decorations can increase the likelihood of house fires as well. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are around 500 house fires each year involving holiday décor, many resulting in injuries and deaths as well as millions of dollars of property damage. These holiday window decorating Do’s and Don’ts can help keep families safe this holiday season.
Holiday Window Decorating Don’ts
Because windows may serve as emergency exits when doors are inaccessible, the most important thing to remember when decorating windows is not to block window access. As tempting as it may be to use the window sill as a surface for holiday displays, the window sill needs to be kept clear for safety’s sake. Candles should never be used for holiday window decorating.
Only non-combustible or flame-resistant trims and decoration should be used on or near windows. Decorations that are sharp or breakable should be avoided. They can post a health danger to children. It’s a good idea to avoid trimmings that resemble food or candy as well because children may try to eat them.
Holiday Window Decorating Do’s
Artificial snow sprays provide an easy and attractive way to decorate window panes for the holiday season. Whether sprayed over a stencil design to create snowflakes on the window or sprayed into the product into the corners of the windows to simulate the accumulation of snow, artificial snow can be a safe decoration. Because artificial snow can irritate the lungs if inhaled, however, it’s important to wear a mask when applying the spray and to follow label directions carefully.
Nonflammable peel-and-stick decals can be safely used on windows. They provide a decorative way to create holiday scenes that will glow in the sunlight and shimmer in the evening under artificial light.
Holiday Lighting Do’s and Don’ts
Whether installed on the exterior of the window or on the inside, it’s critical to follow safety precautions when hanging holiday lights. Holiday lights should be inspected each year for broken sockets, frayed wires and missing lights. When purchasing holidays lights, it’s important to ensure that the product has been tested for safety by an independent testing laboratory.
No more than three conventional strands of lights should be plugged into a single electrical outlet. Consumers should read the manufacturer’s instructions for LED lights to determine the number of lights that can be safely connected. To prevent cords from damage, clips should be used to hang lights rather than nails.
The safest way to decorate windows for the holiday is to apply nonflammable decals or spray to the glass rather than on the sill or around the frame. Nonflammable and secure decorations help ensure that the family gets the most enjoyment from the holiday season without compromising the family’s safety.