By Brentnie Daggett
The holiday season is a beautiful time of the year, but there’s no denying that it can also be stressful. It involves cleaning your home to host guests, shopping for new decor and presents for your family and friends, as well as cooking everyone’s favorite meals and desserts. During this busy season, take extra care to make sure that your property isn’t damaged, remains safe and, of course, that you and your guests have the most memorable holiday season in history.
Think About Holiday Safety and Comfort First
Around the holidays, smaller spaces can quickly become a serious problem. Ensure you invite an appropriate number of guests for the size of your home and can safely accommodate your party size. Otherwise, it can become a potential safety hazard - there is a reason why public venues have capacity limits and the same applies to your home.
Aside from being able to evacuate safely in case of an emergency there are other reasons it is important to consider space limitations when hosting for the holidays. From a practical standpoint, be sure you have enough seating for your guests to be comfortable so there is no crowding in critical areas. Comfort for both you, your guests and your neighbors is key while hosting.
Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen
The kitchen tends to be the area where everyone gravitates - for conversation, games or simply to offer “help” to the hosts. You can avoid some of these “heavy gathering issues” if you make sure that the majority of the prepping and cooking is complete before guests arrive. That means you, as the host, will have more flexibility to move about to other areas in the house. During the holidays, you will often have many dishes cooking at once, so it’s a good time to remember to double-check that all meats are properly thawed prior to cooking and to set a timer to avoid any over or under-cooking.
Of course, avoiding a fire is the most critical concern in the kitchen this time of year, especially since stovetops account for 75% of home cooking fire incidents. In addition, be sure all utensils or food packaging that can cause a fire in the kitchen are removed. In 2019, Thanksgiving led the holiday season with the most home cooking fires, subsequent to Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.
Pick Safe Holiday Decor
While shopping for new decor for the holiday season, be sure to shop for items that are not flammable, or if they are flammable be conscious of where you place them. Unfortunately, much of the decor for sale on store shelves has started many house fires due to their flammability. Vintage decor may be beautiful, but old electric decorations can pose a larger fire hazard. Annually, check your decorations for any signs of fraying or wear.
Fire departments respond to nearly 800 house fires per year across the country solely due to decorations and not the holiday tree. In addition, having a holiday tree in your home can be risky, as they can dry out making them more flammable. If you do decide to decorate a real tree, be cautious of the decorations placed on the tree, as well as the type of string lights used to decorate. Otherwise, err on the side of caution and decorate a fake tree.
If you do decide to host a gathering this holiday season, be sure to plan accordingly and take the necessary precautions to host a memorable gathering this season. Be confident in your planning, and the space in which you will host your guests, to enjoy festivities their fullest. The holidays should be all about enjoying the presence of loved ones. With good food and great company, plus a few safety precautions, there is no way you can go wrong. Be the place that everyone wants to gather at the next holiday season and start making a new tradition this year that extends for years to come.
Brentnie Daggett is a writer and infographic master for the rental and property management industry. She loves to share tips and tricks to assist landlords and renters alike. To learn more about Daggett, and to discover more great tips for renters, visit www.rentecdirect.com.