Holiday time is a wonderful time of year, but it does not come without risks for homeowners and tenants who decorate their homes. rentUSAnow.com recommends that property managers and landlords develop policies regarding safe holiday decorating and that these policies are effectively communicated to tenants. Some basic recommendations are:
- Smoke and carbon monoxide alarm batteries should have been changed when the clocks were turned back for Daylight Savings Time. It is important to remind tenants that if they did not comply with your request at that time, now is the time to change the batteries and check the working status of these alarms.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Fire extinguishers should already be installed in kitchen areas, but tenants can be encouraged to purchase additional extinguishers that can be temporarily located near Christmas trees, fireplaces and in heavily decorated areas, as an added measure.