Holiday Decor Can Be a Fire Hazard

The Christmas Light Shortage – Safe Alternatives

The Christmas Light Shortage and Finding Safe Alternatives

Are Your Decorations a Fire Hazard?The holiday season is upon us and early nights with beautiful decorations are beginning to fill the streets with joy. As some of us bring out last years decorations that may have some life to them, most are left wondering where to find the best quality decorations to bring glee and delight to their homes. Keep in mind, when decorating your home for Christmas, making sure old lighting is up to par and new lighting is of quality for fire prevention this season. Our team here at Classic wants to share some tips this season that might help you this season with decorating for the holidays.

Supply chain issues are being felt across the country from meat to gaming consoles and yes even Christmas lights. This season many people are finding it harder to go to the store and purchase lights for their homes and trees which is leaving them questioning what to do about decorations. “Should we just not decorate” or “should we do minimal decorations” are the thoughts many people are having and the short answer to that is “NO” every time. With everything that has been going on for the past year and a half celebrating this holiday season is giving people the joy that they desperately need. This leaves the next question of “what do we do about our lights?! There are a few options to choose from when it comes to alternative lighting and buying used or reusing old decorations isn’t on that list of options. Read on to learn more about great alternative options and why you shouldn’t use old lights.

Ideas for finding Alternative Lighting

There are a few different options you have for an alternative to traditional holiday lights if you’re feeling creative! If you’ve ever enjoyed a backyard patio at night, you may have seen some beautiful patio lights strung around the patio – here’s a great take on similar outdoor lights that aren’t technically holiday lights, but still a wonderful alternative.

If you have any nearby home improvement stores or garden centers, they also typically have pre-lit yard decorations – from large snowflakes to candy canes and more!

Holiday Decor Can Be a Fire Hazard
This beautiful scene can be a disaster if left unattended!

Take Lighting Fire Precautions with Old Lighting

Whether you are decorating for yourself or helping someone else, homeowners can agree that hanging Christmas lights indoor and outdoor can be very dangerous. Follow these tips and tricks to take precautions this year to help prevent a fire from potentially starting due to old lighting.

  • Before plugging in last years Christmas lights, inspect their condition to make sure they’re up to par. Check for cracked of frayed cords, wires poking through, and sockets without bulbs.
  • Look for Christmas lights with a UL Safety Certification, meaning that the lights have been designed to meet product safety specifications.
  • If you are in the market to purchase new Christmas lights, LED lights are a good option, for safety as well as using less electricity, making your electric bill lower during the holidays.
  • Make sure you are using a specific outlet for outdoor Christmas lights. We recommend a (GFCI) outlet, to prevent electrical shock from electrical systems that could be exposed to wet conditions such as snow or rain.
  • Christmas tree lights should not be left on for long periods of time overnight. We suggest investing in a light timer for your tree and lights to set off automatically every night, and then back on the next day. Not only could this save your home from a fire, but it could also save you money on your electric bill.
  • Never attempt to create or purchase a male-to-male cord if your lights are strung in such a way that you have female ends facing each other. This can cause electricity arcs and start fires!

In Conclusion

Inspect all your old Christmas lights and electric decorations for damage before use! If you can’t find new lights due to shipping delays and supply shortage, take care in using old lighting. You can find many festive alternatives, many of which can be used year-round as a bonus! If your home or commercial property experiences a holiday fire due to faulty or damaged holiday decorations, call Classic Construction for a free estimate on repairs. We work with your insurance company to quickly and correctly get your property restored and renewed!

Chimney on fire

Getting the Chimney Ready for Fall and Preventing a Fire

Learn How to Keep Your Chimney Safe This Fall

Chimney on fireNow that the weather is beginning to cool, chimneys are ready to be lit. Warm and cozy evenings are bliss to everyone when you’re in the comfort of your own home but making sure your key comfort is safe for fire prevention will allow you to enjoy the fireplace when the time comes. From minimizing creosote build-up to scheduling inspections, chimney preparation is a key component to getting your home prepped for the cozy fireplace memories.

Preparing the Fireplace (regular and gas)

It’s not everyone’s favorite task to clean a fireplace, but it’s the first and most important step of getting your fireplace ready for the fall. Make sure to go outside of your home and take a look at the outside of your chimney to ensure that there isn’t any damage to the bricks, no cracks, loose bricks or gaping holes.

After that, make your way inside to clean the interior with a water and vinegar mixture or any fireplace-specific cleaning solution. Go ahead and grab a mask and use a vacuum afterwards to help you remove build up around your fireplace.

Hire a Professional for Inspection

Once you’ve prepared your fireplace for the fall, it’s better to be safe than sorry and hire a professional to come give your fireplace the final “OK” to fire it up. Some things that a professional may be able to catch that a homeowner may miss includes structural damage, broken or soon-to-break flues, and flues that aren’t quite closing all the way.

If you have a gas-burning fireplace, make sure to get an inspection at least every other year to ensure that it’s thoroughly cleaned. Having a professional find and prevent these issues can be the difference between a pumpkin-spiced sweet holiday or a visit from a team of firefighters.

Choosing the Right Wood

While it’s true that most wood will burn in a fireplace, choosing the right wood is important, not only for enjoyment, but for the health of your fire place.

  • Oak – Is considered the best wood to burn, for lasting longer as well as burns more evenly and hotter. However, to burn well, oak needs to be seasoned well and properly for at least a year after cutting.
  • Maple – Like oak, it is a great choice since it burns evenly and and slowly, creating less buildup and mess. You can use Red Maple, Sugar, or Hard Maple for great results.
  • Birch – Birch gives off a beautiful flame, but it burns very quickly and can cause a larger buildup in your chimney in a shorter timeframe.

Remember, regardless of the type of wood you’re using, schedule to have your chimney cleaned before it gets too cold out so it is ready to go before the first fire of the season.

In Conclusion

In the event that you suffer a fire in your local family home or community, give us a call.