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Tips For A Happy, Healthy And Safe Holiday Season

Although most people will (hopefully) be staying home for the holidays, we must remain aware and cautious. This is not only because of the pandemic, but there are many other hazards that can occur this time of year in the “safety” of our own homes. Holiday lights, decorations, cooking and yes, an improperly maintained heating system can cause mishaps that will put a damper on your celebrations. Here are a few holiday tips. You may have heard them before, but everyone can use a refresher.

First and foremost, you should be checking your smoke alarms at least once a year. The beginning of the holiday season may be a good time, as there are many things we do this time of year that can increase the chances of fires.

Speaking of fires, if you have a wood burning fireplace make sure to have it cleaned regularly by a professional. The buildup of wood burning by-products, called creosote, can cause a fire in your chimney. Hopefully, you’re just using your fireplace for ambiance and not strictly for heat. Alternative heating sources such as propane, kerosene or electrical heaters can be helpful, but they can also be a hazard. When using propane or kerosene, make sure there is plenty of ventilation as the fumes can cause issues with your health. Electrical heaters should only be used when they can be closely monitored as they can be a fire hazard. Keep all supplemental heating units away from anything flammable and keep them stable to ensure they don’t fall over.

If you’re using supplemental heat, does that mean you’re experiencing an issue with your heating system? The best way to avoid a system breakdown is to have regular maintenance performed on your equipment. Reiner can come out to do a full system diagnosis and maintenance. We can also offer a preventative maintenance plan which not only includes yearly maintenance, but also offers 24-hour emergency service, a discount on parts and labor and priority service!

Continuing with heat sources, we also tend to burn more scented candles this time of year. Having the scent of pine, cinnamon and other seasonal scents can help set the mood, but an unattended candle can also be harmful. Be sure to keep candles up high away from kids, pets and anything flammable. A good alternative to candles is an aromatherapy diffuser. This uses water vapor and essential oils to add scent to the air in your home without the risk of an open flame. You can also have the ambience created by candles but replace a real flame with an LED flame. LED flame candles look like the real thing, plus they’re safer, you can control them with a remote control and set them on a timer.

Staying all warm and cozy can make you crave comfort food. It seems like between Thanksgiving and New Year’s we do a lot more cooking! Make sure to keep your preparation space clean and keep an eye on food cooking on the stove or in the oven. It’s probably a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen just in case. Remember, never throw water on a grease fire!

Other than food, another thing that brings about lots of joy this time of year are lights! Twinkling, flashing and steady lights bring cheer to the holiday season. Check the packaging to see if the lights you are using are for indoor and/or outdoor use. Also, keep electrical connections off the ground and away from wet winter weather. Although many lights are now solar or battery operated, some still need to be plugged in. By using inside and outside lights, your electrical circuits may become overloaded. Keep the number of connections to a minimum. You don’t want your lights going out completely or fall victim to an electrical fire!

We have had enough to worry about this year. We hope these tips will help to keep your home a safe sanctuary where you can unwind and relax.

Enjoy the holidays and we will see you in the new year!

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