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  • Writer's pictureTechnihouse

The holidays are supposed to be fun and we want them to be safe.

We’ve compiled a holiday safety checklist to get you started and keep you and your family safe. I know most of the list is common sense, but look it over and at least use it as a reminder.

Christmas Trees:

• Always buy a fresh cut, healthy tree. You can check by looking and feeling. The tree must be green, the bark moist and green, and the needles should bend and not break when you bend them.

• Run your hand down a branch. If the tree is fresh, some needles will fall off but only a few.

• Tug on a few needles; they should be difficult to pull off from the branches.

• Bend a few branches; if they snap off or crack, the tree is too dry and won’t last.

• When you get the tree home, cut a few inches off the bottom of the trunk at an angle so the tree can absorb more water.

• Set the tree in a sturdy tree stand. Make sure the base or legs are sturdy to keep the tree stable so that it will not tip over, which can pose a danger to children and small pets.

• The stand should be able to hold a lot of water and the water should be checked and maintained. A six-foot tree requires approximately one-gallon of water every other day.

• Do not place the tree next to, or close to fireplaces, heaters, radiators, heat registers or candles.

• Never place the tree in front of a doorway or in the path of any exit source in case of an emergency.

• If you use, or are planning on buying an artificial tree, make sure it is fire resistant. Don’t take the salesman word for it, check the label.

• Install a smoke/fire detector as well as an ABC fire extinguisher in the room with the tree.

• Ribbons and tinsel are a big temptation for small children, cats and dogs. It can wreak havoc in the pet’s intestines or stomach. Small children also love the shiny tinsel and bows on presents and need to be supervised or the tree needs to be barricaded with some type of gate or fencing for safety measures.

Holiday plants:

• Poinsettias are a common household Christmas plant, but toxic to children and pets. The sap from the leaves may cause vomiting and skin irritation. Avoid placing it where pets and children may reach it.

• Christmas Mistletoe is also a favorite to hang where people can kiss under it. Hanging it high up is best as the berries from this plant are highly toxic for children and pets. Remove the berries for the best safety precautions. A few other holiday plants are toxic to pets as well such as pine needles, amaryllis and holly.


• Only use UL listed labeled lights and cords.

• Never use electrical lights on a metal tree.

• Before using any and all holiday lights, inspect all connections and cords. Look for cracked, brittle or frayed wiring or cords.

• Do not coil or tie extension cords when in use. They could overheat.

• Inspect all lights for broken or damaged sockets.

• Make sure the bulbs work and are not loose of missing.

• Never use indoor extension cords, outdoors.

• Never lay cords under carpets or across walks or steps.

• Outdoor light sets should be marked “waterproof”.

• Never shorten or splice light sets.

• Make sure all outside lights are plugged into a ground fault circuit interrupter (G.F.C.I.) outlet.

• Do not overload electrical outlets. If you are trying to use dozens of light sets, plug them into different outlets on different circuits.

• Turn off, or better yet, unplug all tree lights and decorations when going to bed or leaving the house.


• Have your fireplace and chimney professionally cleaned and inspected to remove creosote.

• Never use a fireplace without a screen to protect against sparks and ashes.

• Never use gasoline or barbeque starter fluid to start a fire in a fireplace.

• Keep all combustibles including, gifts, paper, furniture and holiday stockings away the fireplace and mantle when using a fire.

• Install a smoke and carbon monoxide detector in a room with a fireplace.

• Burn only clean, dry firewood.


• Never put lit candles in windows.

• Never put candles within reach of small children.

• Do not leave a room with candles burning.

• Do not use candles in children’s rooms or on Christmas trees.

Wishing You All a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!

~ Technihouse Inspections, Inc. ~

For those of you who didn’t know … November is Carbon Monoxide awareness month.

Carbon monoxide is a gas that is colorless, odorless and tasteless and can be deadly to humans and pets.

People who may be victims of carbon monoxide poisoning may be experiencing symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, nausea, confusion, weakness, and chest pain.

Having carbon monoxide detectors in your home could save you and your families lives. Kidde sells them on Amazon for around twenty five to thirty dollars. They can also be purchased at Lowes, Home Depot or Menards. The best carbon monoxide detector is the type that plugs into your electrical outlet that has a battery back-up in case of a power outage.

It is recommended to purchase at least one for every floor of your home, one for every bedroom and one for the area where your heating system is located.

Carbon monoxide is heavier than the air and accumulates on the ground so the detector should be plugged in closest to the floor.

(Photo courtesy of the Amazon website)

With fall just around the corner, now is the time to get busy on the following items you can take care of around your house to get your home ready for winter.

  1. Using binoculars, check for damaged, loose or missing shingles on your roof.

  2. Examine the chimney flashing to make sure there are no leaks. (The flashing is the metal that prevents leakage around chimney and walls where they meet the roofing shingles.)

  3. Examine the flashing around skylights and roof stacks to make sure there are no cracks or gaps.

  4. Cut back any tree branches or limbs hanging within three feet of your roof. The weight of snow and ice will drag them down and damage your shingles.

  5. Clean out the gutters of leaves and debris and secure any that are loose.

  6. Fill cracks in walks and driveway to prevent heaving.

  7. Turn off and drain all outside hose bibs, sprinkler systems and pool equipment.

  8. Do not cover your air-conditioning compressor. (Although experts differ, it is generally accepted that the compressor unit is designed to be outdoors. Covering it could accelerate rust and corrosion, while providing a home for field mice or chipmunks who cannot forage for food in severe weather and will start nibbling on the wire’s insulation.)

  9. Start your snow blower engine to make sure it will turn on. Spray auger and snow chute with Pam or a lubricant to reduce clogging.

  10. Check the oil in your snowblower. It’s probably a good idea to replace it with fresh 5-W-30 oil, which is a good winter oil that makes your engine easier to start. Replace the spark plug in your snow blower as well.

  11. Buy rock salt or a de-icing compound and store in a convenient and accessible place.

  12. Empty the gas from your lawn mowers gas tank and store the lawn mower in your garage or shed.

  13. Close all vents to your crawl space (if applicable).

  14. If your house has a whole-house fan in the hall ceiling, install a plastic vapor barrier on top of it and then cover it with insulation to prevent heat loss.

  15. Circuit breakers should be tripped and reset every six months to clean the contacts so they don’t oxidize and become useless.

  16. Oil the furnace, boiler motor or circulating pump if required. (Usually a 20-weight oil is best unless otherwise stated.)

  17. Caulk any gaps around windows and doors.

If someone you know may be purchasing a house soon, please tell them about your good experience with Technihouse Inspections, Inc.

We appreciate the referral !

We offer a $35.00 off coupon to our First Time Clients, First Responders and Military

Click here to check out our Blog and Youtube channel! for more interesting tips.

Technihouse Inspections, Inc.

4940 Rands Road ~ Bloomfield Hills, MI ~ 48302 ~ 248.855.5566

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