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Are Your Christmas Decorations Safe To Use?

Here's how to shop for the right holiday ornaments, and how to keep your home sound and splendid this holiday season!

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Original Article: Bubbles Salvador and Tala Singson Photography: Pexels.com (Main Photo)

"The most common holiday-related accident that occurs at home during the Christmas season is fire," says Antonio M. Abuel Jr., Meralco Vice President and Head of Organizational Safety and Resiliency Office. What often triggers this is the overloading of electrical wires and the use of octopus connections. 

Aside from following proper safety precautions, there's another thing you can do to keep your home safe—shopping for high-quality Christmas decorations. To help you achieve the best look for your space without sacrificing safety, interior designer Catherine Cena-Yambao shares a few helpful tips:

1. Think of the people who will be using the room before you buy its ornaments. In a place where small children and pets are present, avoid using breakable, sharp or weighted Christmas tree ornaments or those that have small, removable parts. Avoid decor items that look like candy or food because small children might eat them. To be safe, choose ornaments that are non-toxic. 

2. Choose items like Christmas trees or wreaths that are generally fire-resistant, especially when you plan on lighting them up. Don't put Christmas trees in high traffic areas where they can be easily knocked over. 

3. If you don't want to dabble in wiring or electricity, create a holiday feel using themed pillows, throws and plates instead. These are generally safe for everyone and can create a big impact in the living and dining areas. 

4. Use LED candles instead of real candles. Don't use spray-on snow (from cans) because these may be harmful when inhalded. You can buy LED candles at True Value, and other major hardware stores. Try printables for Pinterest or other design websites instead!

5. Consider using ornaments made of ribbons, paper, and cloth, instead of breakable glass and plastic or sharp metal. (But don't hang these near Christmas lights or other electrical ornaments.)

6. When buying Christmas lights, choose only those with quality marks such as PS, ICC or UL. Buy only from reputable sources, too—such as department stores or hardwares—instead of three-for-100 kiosks on the street. 

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BONUS! Going out or travelling for the holidays? Remember these tips: 

  • Unplug all appliances. Better yet, turn off the main switch. 
  • Turn off all gas and water sources.
  • Turn off and unplug Christmas lights and decorations, especially decorative lights outdoors. 

This snippet is from the original article ("Safe, Sound, Splendid") that appeared in the Dec 2016-Jan 2017 issue of Real Living Magazine. 

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