Everything’s set. The house is decorated, presents are under the tree and your big family holiday meal is planned. But, as we all know from past experience, something’s bound to go wrong, whether it’s a home cooking fire or Auntie Ruth complaining too much (again).

If those are the extent of our holiday setbacks, we’re fortunate, because there are plenty of unforeseen things that can cause expensive and sometimes dangerous problems. Here are some home safety tips to keep you protected and sane.

  • Check your dishwasher’s supply line to make sure there are no leaks. If it’s leaking, fix it now and rest easy knowing you’re not going to have a flooded kitchen on Christmas Day.
  • Look for signs of leaking in the rest of your household plumbing and have repairs done. Remember that mold can indicate a leak you may not be able to see.
  • Replace old decorating lights with LED bulbs if you can. Though they cost a little more, they last longer and draw less power, which means less heat in the line so risk of fire is lessened.
  • Make sure there’s a 3-foot kid-free zone around open fires and space heaters. Turn off all space heaters when you and your houseguests go to bed.
  • If your tree is near any kind of heat source, move the tree to a safer spot—making sure not to block an exit that might be used in an emergency.
  • If you want to burn candles, keep an eye on them and never place them near the tree or decorations.
  • Move any sharp tree ornaments high enough to be out of reach to small children.
  • Clear your fireplace area of decorations, greens and boughs.
  • Do not burn wrapping in the fireplace.
  • Inspect gas lines to ensure against deadly gas leaks.
  • Test your smoke alarms and have a plan to get everyone out in the case of a fire.
  • Place any poinsettias, known to be poisonous, out of reach of children and animals.

These are just a sampling of what you can do to make your holidays safer and more worry free. Be prepared and when the guests arrive relax and enjoy—but keep an eye on that ham baking in the oven.

Also, feel free to print out this home safety tips list and check it off before the holidays begin.

-George Fahouris

George’s expertise in marketing, management and building high powered teams has guided Certified Restoration’s accelerated business growth and commitment to customer service. Involved in day to day operations, George focuses especially on Internet marketing and social media.