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‘Tis the Season: Holiday Lighting and Candles

The holiday season is upon us and soon lots of tenants are going to be enjoying decorating their units with lights and candles.  This is a good time to remind tenants that great care should be taken when using candles and that too many tree decorations plugged into one socket or end to end can pose a hazard.  It’s also a good time to remind tenants that using extension cords across pathways, etc. is also not a good idea.  So, why not send out that season’s greetings to your tenant with an enclosure outlining how to keep their holidays safe for their family—and your unit.

Here are some basic recommendations:

  1. Now is the time to check the working status of those smoke alarms.
  2. When unpacking string lights, carefully inspect the cords for signs of wear or damage. Damaged string lights should never be used. Always turn off string lights when leaving the room. Never leave string lights on overnight or when you are away.
  3. Candles are not recommended. There are a variety of flameless choices and these are preferable. If traditional flame candles are used, they should never be left unattended, should be placed on fireproof dishes and should be extinguished when leaving the room.
  4. Never overload extension cords or power strips. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations diligently and carefully inspect the cords for signs of wear or damage before using.
  5. Live trees are not recommended. If they are used they must be watered daily. (Property managers and landlords may wish to write a policy prohibiting live trees.)
  6. Use fireplaces with care. Do not mount wreaths above fireplaces or place any flammable items within five feet of a fireplace that will be lit. Stockings should never be hung on a fireplace that will be lit…including gas fireplaces.
  7. Fire extinguishers should already be installed in kitchen areas, but encourage tenants to purchase additional extinguishers that can be temporarily located near Christmas trees, fireplaces and in heavily decorated areas, as an added measure.


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