Did you know that holiday decorations can increase the risk for fires in the home? Lights and candles combined with a dry tree can lead to dangerous fires. In fact, fires involving Christmas trees often result in more serious fires. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, one out of every 32 fires that involve Christmas trees results in a death.
However, there is a lot you can do to prevent accidental fires during the holidays in your aging parent’s house. Below are some tips to decorate safely.
Pick the Right Tree
If your parent prefers a real tree, picking the right one can go a long way toward preventing a fire. It’s important to choose the freshest tree possible since it will be less dry and prone to catching fire. Look for a tree with needles that are green and fresh. They should not fall off the tree easily when touched. Once you bring it home, cut about two inches off the trunk so that the tree can take in water. Also, be sure and water it every day to prevent it from drying out.
Inspect Holiday Lights
Before hanging lights, look them over carefully for any fraying or cracking in the cord. Damaged light strings can lead to electrical fires. Also, make sure all the bulbs are connected tightly and don’t overload outlets. When hanging lights, use clips instead of nails since nails can damage the cords. Turn off all lights before going to bed or leaving the house.
Be Careful with Candles
Lots of people use candles as part of their holiday decorations. However, lit candles should never be used as tree decorations. Make sure all candles are blown out before the senior goes to bed or leaves the house. If you are concerned that they may forget, consider using battery operated candles instead.
Keep Decorations Away from Heat Sources
42 percent of fires involving decorations happen because they are placed too close to a heat source. To avoid this, keep all decorations away from the fireplace and heating vents.
Dispose of the Tree Promptly
Help your parent to dispose of their tree soon after Christmas or when it becomes dry. Don’t put the dry tree in the garage or lean it against the outside of the house to get rid of later since a dry tree is a significant fire danger. Find out how and when trees are disposed of in your parent’s community.
If your parent needs assistance with decorating, an elderly care provider can help them. Elderly care providers can ensure that all decorations are safe and placed in areas where they aren’t likely to catch fire. An elderly care provider can also water your parent’s tree each day and remind them to turn off the lights at night.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elderly Services in Upper Darby PA, please contact the caring staff at True Direct Home Health Care today.
Doc, as he is called by everyone - staff, patients and clients - first experienced home health care and hospice care while as a colleg student at King's College as he cared for his mother every day while she first battled COPD and then lung cancer. It was during this time that he came to understand that caring for a patient was more than just clinical expertise.
"Admittedly, my strongest attribute is my communication skills and the simple fact that I love to help people. Even the smallest thing you can do for someone really can mean so much to them long term. In fact, it could change them forever. That's what providing quality personal home health care should be all about."
In his spare time, he cooks for homeless shelters and children's music and arts events. He also is highly involved in his local youth sports soccer academy as a coach and Board member.
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