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Fires start very easily during the holidays. During the holiday season, people often forget about safety at home, which leads GTSE to create a guide on how to make sure the whole family is safe and the house is not damaged, from protecting walls from damage by decorations to ensuring the dog doesn’t get poisoned by harmful products.

Using their expert knowledge on cable ties, widespread research, and speaking with Lindsay Arliss, Dog Behaviour and Training Specialist at Wood Green, compiled six tips to avoid damage when decking the halls this Christmas. You can see these 6 essential hacks below.

  • Regularly Water Your Tree(s)

    There are many reasons why people start Christmas fires during the holiday season. High-voltage Christmas lights are one of the most common causes. Make sure to water your tree(s) over the holiday period and use a water spritzer to spray the leaves.

  • Avoid Using Decorations That Can Harm Your Dog/Cat Or Other Pet

    You should choose decorations carefully if you have a dog since most plastic or metal items can be harmful if consumed. Christmas decorations to avoid include:

    • Instead of decorative glitter or ribbons, use plain brown paper or cardboard. They will have just as much fun tearing open the package, and it is much safer for them.
    • Holly or mistletoe berries – These are toxic to dogs, so it’s best to decorate with artificial ones.
  • Use Cable Ties And Clips To Avoid Damaging Your Walls

    Use cable ties and clips to avoid damaging your walls. Over the festive period, you’ll likely be hanging seasonal decorations around the home. But it’s important to use tools that don’t damage your walls in the process. Instead, try and use the following:

    • Self-adhesive cable clips: These help you to hook hanging decorations up really easily.
    • Self-adhesive cable ties: For hanging bulky decorations on your walls, being sturdy enough to hold them in place.
    • Double-sided tape: This is an effective solution for lighter items, but remember it’ll struggle to hold up heavier decorations.
    • Washi tape: This peels off very easily, and doesn’t damage your decorations (or walls).

  • Use Extra Materials Under The Base Of Your Tree

    Placing your tree on top of a sturdy piece of plywood. If you have hardwood flooring, place a non-skid mat underneath your Christmas tree stand (to avoid scratching).

  • Attach Ribbons To Your Staircase

    Your Christmas cards can be hung on the walls as part of your Christmas decorating. In this case, you will have to use a lot of tacks, which can leave marks on your walls and surfaces. Use ribbons instead of hooks to hang up your Christmas cards. In this way, you won’t have to wash down tack in the new year! You can instead:

    • Use craft glue and apply this to the ribbon itself.
    • Place your Christmas cards in a vertical position against the glue, all the way down to the length of the ribbon.
    • Lay this newly created ‘bunting’ on a surface and allow it to cool.
    • Next, wrap the ribbon around your hallway banister and tie it together.
  • Get Rid Of Spills With This Hack

    It is likely that there will be spills at Christmas dinner, especially when gravy is involved. Once you’ve mopped up as much gravy as possible, address the remaining staining as follows:

    • The affected area can be treated by sprinkling baking soda or cornstarch over it.
    • After 15 minutes, vacuum the area.
    • Mix one tablespoon of washing-up liquid with one tablespoon of white vinegar, and two cups of warm water if any markings remain.
    • Use a white cloth to blot the stain.

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