McGrath Real Estate Advises how to Protect Home this Winter Season

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Most renters and homeowners alike look forward to decorating their homes for the holidays with lights, trees and candles. While it does make a home beautiful, Northern Virginia property management firm McGrath Real Estate advises homeowners to be careful, as many decorations that seem harmless can actually put a home at risk.

...one in every three Christmas tree fires is caused by an electrical problem with the lights, if the strand is old it might be time to replace

As families deck the halls and decorate the home with holiday cheer this season, McGrath Real Estate Services, a Northern Virginia property management leader for over 35 years, suggests some simple tips to keep homes fire-safe and the holidays happy.

When decorating, McGrath suggests that you look for “flame resistant” or “flame retardant” products and replace any string of lights that are worn or have broken cords and loose bulb connections. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s warning on how many strands can be safely strung together though a good rule of thumb is to not connect more than three strands together.

Candles are very popular at this time of year and add a joyful note to any holiday decoration but almost half of all home decoration fires are started by candles. Always make sure that candles are blown out before bed or leaving the house and test to make sure smoke detectors are working properly and there is a family fire escape plan in place. Keep candles away from children and pets. When it comes to Christmas trees, the National Fire Protection Association suggests making sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source (candle, fireplace, radiator, heat vent etc.) and to never use lit candles to decorate the tree. It is imperative that water is added to the tree so it doesn’t dry out too quickly and to always turn off lights on the tree before leaving or going to bed.

Lastly, don’t skimp on Christmas tree lights; one in every three Christmas tree fires is caused by an electrical problem with the lights, if the strand is old it might be time to replace.

Last but not least, McGrath Real Estate recommends some basic preparation of your home for the cold winter months to ensure you stay warm. If the home has a furnace have it inspected and serviced at least once a year, make sure to change air filters at least every three months, and test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. If the home has a wood fireplace have the chimney cleaned by a professional and use only dry, seasoned wood. McGrath also suggests having a metal screen or heating tempered glass and always putting cool ashes in a metal container. Children should be advised to stay at least three feet away from a fireplace.

About
McGrath Real Estate Services has served the Northern Virginia region since 1976 as an expert in property management and real estate sales. Founded by a Foreign Service family they understand and appreciate the unique needs of homeowners serving our country abroad. For more information please visit McGrathRealEstate.com.

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