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The holiday season has arrived, which brings a unique set of safety challenges each year. We've compiled several safety precautions to take this season- to keep you safe and jolly!

Light up the night:  Be sure to have a sturdy ladder and a friend to hold it for you when you clip your lights to the house- do not utilize nails or permanent fixtures into the siding or roof when clipping lights to the home. Use only pre-approved outside extension cords and lights made for outdoor use for the exterior of your home.  Decorations must be removed within two weeks of the holiday ending.

Deck the halls: If you are decorating a live tree, water it daily- dry trees are extremely flammable! Your artificial tree should be labeled as flame retardant for optimal safety. Keep trees at least three feet from fireplaces, candles, radiators and heat vents. String your lights around the tree, but don't overload them- three strands linked together is recommended.

Leaving town:  Make sure to let your community management office know your holiday vacation plans, and appoint a neighbor or friend to watch over the home in your absence. Before you leave, double check that all doors and windows are locked and all lights are turned off. Be sure not to turn off the heat in your home-in the event of unexpected or freezing weather, pipes could freeze, leading to flooded homes and ruined possessions. We recommend leaving the thermostat at 55 degrees to prevent frozen pipes.

Consider festive faux candles: Instead of lighting holiday candles this year, consider flickering plastic tea light candles, which are powered by batteries and do not pose a fire hazard when left on overnight. These faux candles are safer, longer-lasting and easier to use- traditional candles are often forgotten and are a leading cause of fires around the holiday season.

Check your furnace filter: Depending on your home type, your furnace filter should be checked and changed every 1-3 months. The furnace filter intercepts dust, hair and other airborne particles, producing cleaner air in your home and making your breathing experience easier. If you have questions about your furnace filter or the preventative maintenance schedule, please contact your community management office or maintenance department.

Balfour Beatty Communities wishes your family a safe and festive holiday season!