How to Prepare and Move a Formal Dining Room or Kitchen Table

Moving a Dining Room or Kitchen TableIn today’s busy world, the kitchen has taken over as the dining or gathering area in a home.  Most people don’t use their formal dining room except for special occasions or holiday gatherings. The kitchen has taken over as the dining or gathering area in a home. The kitchen table is used every day for many purposes, so it is very important to take the extra time to properly prepare and protect it from damage and costly repairs.

 

Packing a Dining Room or Kitchen Table

The dining room and kitchen table and chairs are treasured pieces of furniture and can be quite expensive, so it is worth the time to pack it correctly for moving. Before starting to pack the dining room, it is recommended to take a picture of the dining room table from all angles. This documents the item and any existing damage and provides proof if there is damage made during the move. Below are tips for preparing a dining room or a kitchen table for moving. Make sure that you have moving and packing supplies such as cardboard, bubble wrap or clean newsprint.

Clean and dust the furniture before preparing for storage.

  • To make the transport of the table easier, unbolt and unscrew the legs from the table. Tape the hardware in a resealable bag and attach it to the bottom of the table or on one of the legs. Label the bag with its contents.
  • If you cannot remove the table legs, wrap them in bubble wrap for protection on moving day.
  • Wrap each detached leg with bubble wrap for protection.
  • Remove the table leaf (if applicable), then put the sides down on a drop-down side tables and wrap the entire tabletop with a moving blanket. Wrap the table leaf separately. Secure the blanket to the bottom of each piece with packing tape, so the blanket will not move. Do not use tape on the surface of the table as it could leave a residue or peel the paint or wood surfacing.
  • For individual table tops, wrap with as many blankets as is needed in order to cover the surface and then tape the blankets for additional protection.
  • Glass dining room table tops should first be wrapped in several layers of bubble wrap, a layer of cardboard and then wrapped with at least two moving blankets.
  • Wrap dining room or kitchen chairs in a moving blanket and secure with tape.

Moving a Dining Room or Kitchen Table and Chairs

Once you have the table wrapped and ready to go, you must make sure it gets transported into a moving truck in the correct manner. Below are tips for moving a dining room or kitchen table to get the most optimum room in the moving truck:

  • Move chairs by picking them up from the bottom of the seat. Do not move chairs by lifting up from their backs or by dragging them across the floor as this could cause damage the chair and/or the floor.
  • Stack chairs in groups of two in the moving truck and secure them together with a bungee cord or rope. Place the second chair upside down on top of the cushion on the first chair.
  • When moving the table, lift the table by the apron, so it is vertical to the floor. This will allow for easier movement through doors and up/down stairs.
  • Moving a table is a two person job; have one person lift from one end and another from the other end.
  • Load the table top against the wall of a moving van and secure with rope or bungee cords. Another option is to lay it flat on the floor of the moving truck. Place the separated legs in a secure position on the moving truck, where they won’t roll and damage other items.
  • If the legs remain on the table, be very careful how you load the table into the moving truck. Tables can also shift during transit. If the table is being moved in a standing position, you can load items below it, but it might not be able to support a large amount of weight on top. It might be a better idea to place the table on its side in the moving van and make sure to keep the legs protected as much as possible.

Protecting a Dining Room Table in Self Storage

It is very important to protect the investment for your furniture, especially cherished dining room tables, so you will be able to use the items for many years to come. Self storage is a great personal storage solution to keep these items protected until you need them again. Some furniture might require storage in a climate controlled storage unit to keep the wood in good condition and protect it from possible warping or drying out from extreme temperatures and humidity levels.  Once you place the dining room tables in storage, make sure to keep them covered with furniture tarps.  Store the tables in the same manner as you would move them. Tables that are taken apart can be leaned against the storage unit wall with the legs nearby. Depending on the amount of room in the storage unit, place the assembled table standing upright or on its side making sure that legs are wrapped and protected.

Magellan Storage has a variety of storage units available in both climate and non-climate controlled to keep your dining room and kitchen table protected while in storage. Our storage professionals can help you with any of your personal storage needs.

Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday Celebrations in the Los Angeles Area

Mardi Gras in Los AngelesIt is time to celebrate Mardi Gras around the world. There are parades, festivals, and lots of great food at Carnival celebrations in Venice, Italy, Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans!  All of the celebrations will accumulate with Fat Tuesday events on Tuesday, February 9th. Mardi Gras celebrations and traditions can be traced back to pagan spring rites and rituals. Today, Mardi Gras is celebrated around the world with lots of music, food, and floats.

Mardi Gras in New Orleans

The city of New Orleans is famous for their Mardi Gras celebrations, which usually start at the beginning of January and run to Ash Wednesday, which is 40 days before Easter. Modern Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans can be dated back to the 1830’s with masked and costumed parade participants dancing through the streets. The first New Orleans Mardi Gras Krewe, an organized group of Mardi Gras celebrants, was formed in the 1850’s. Costumed parade participants have been throwing out beads and other small gifts in the Mardi Gras parades since 1871. Today, there are over 50 krewes who sponsor Mardi Gras parades, masked balls and parties. There are over 70 free parades in the city that are put on by different krewes with the first parade starting at 8am to and the last one kicking off at sundown. The larger parades can have hundreds of floats, marching bands and participants that wind through the streets of the French Quarter.

Mardi Gras Events in Los Angeles Area

Mardi Gras is celebrated in different countries around the world. Venice Italy and Rio de Janeiro will be celebrating Carnival in the next few days! Cities across the United States also have Mardi Gras celebrations and Fat Tuesday feasts. Los Angeles hosts a few very popular Mardi Gras events every year.

Mardi Gras at the Farmer’s Market                                  

The biggest Mardi Gras celebration in the Los Angeles area is at the Original Farmers Market on W. 3rd St. in Los Angeles for two days on Saturday, February 6th and Fat Tuesday, February 9th.  The celebration includes parades bands, Cajun and Zydeco music, New Orleans food and children activities.

Long Beach Mardi Gras Parade

Long Beach and Shoreline Village  will be celebrating Mardi Gras with a parade, entertainment and festivities on Saturday, February 6th starting at 3pm. The parade kicks off at 3pm at the Aquarium of the Pacific with celebrations to continue afterward at restaurants in the area.

Mardi Gras on Olvera Street

Olvera Street in Los Angeles is celebrating Mardi Gras with Children’s Workshops including Brazilian singing and dancing, a parade and mask making for children.

Venice Beach Mardi Gras Parade

The 15th Annual Venice Beach Mardi Gras Parade will take place on Saturday, February 6th. The parade starts at 11am at the North City Parking Lot. Everyone can join in the fun of the free parade. There will be festivities taking place at Danny’s Venice with music and more after the parade.

If you can’t make it to The “Big Easy” to celebrate Mardi Gras, head out to one of the many events and activities this weekend in the Los Angeles Area. Magellan Storage wishes everyone a safe and fun Mardi Gras celebration!

Rugs and Carpet Storage Tips

Storage Tips for Rugs and CarpetsWhen packing items for a storage unit, storing large area rugs is not something that would normally be top of mind. There are many reasons that you might need to store a rug from removing an area rug from a home for a renovation project to inheriting a treasured oriental rug.  Rugs and carpets are large and can be unwieldy objects to store.  They also need to follow specific preparation step before placing in storage.

Storing Rugs in Self Storage

Rugs should be stored in a dry cool environment, where temperature and humidity is set at an even level. Changing humidity levels can cause a rug to curl at the edges.  The best solution is to store a rug in a climate controlled storage unit. Magellan Storage has a variety of storage unit sizes in climate and non-climate controlled that are perfect for storing furniture and rugs during remodeling projects or moving to another home. The size of the rug will determine the size storage unit that you will need to rent.

Tips for Preparing and Storing a Rug or Carpet

Dirt and bugs (moths and carpet beetles) and direct light are the biggest problems for carpet storage. Bugs do not eat synthetic fibers such as nylon, polypropylene, acrylic or polyester. However, they can damage natural fibers such as wool or silk, which are the materials in many oriental style rugs. Do not store a rug or carpet in direct light. Direct light can fade the carpet’s colors.  Keep rugs and carpets stored in a darker, cool and dry storage area.

Cleaning Rug Tips

By following simple preparation tips, the rugs will continue to be in good condition for future use.

  • Rugs need to be cleaned before placing in storage. Clean rugs or carpets based on manufacturer instructions. Woven or braided rugs should be washed differently from handmade, antique, wool and oriental rugs. If the rug is large and not able to be cleaned at home, have it professionally cleaned before storing. Any dirt or soiling left on the rug should be removed or it could cause deterioration of the rug.
  • Vacuum the rug on both sides before then doing a wet cleaning. Vacuuming will remove pet dander, dust mites and any excess dirt. In order to vacuum both sides of the rug place the rug on plastic or wire mesh fencing material on the ground. Vacuum one side and then flip over to vacuum the other. Hand wash rugs with a gentle detergent. For larger rugs, wet with a garden hose and scrub with a Woolite and a water solution.
  • Rugs should be completely dry before putting in storage. Use a wet/dry vacuum to extract as much water as possible from the rug before storage. If cleaning a rug outside on a warm day, allow it to air dry for 10-12 hours. (This would be great spring cleaning task.)
  • After cleaning the rug, spray the rug with insect repellant. A DIY solution is 4 parts water and 1 part vinegar sprayed on both sides of the rug. Then, let the rug dry completely again before placing in storage.

How to Store a Rug

After cleaning the rug, it is vital to take all the right steps to keep it preserved by adhering to the following storage tips:

  • Roll a rug for storage instead of folding. Folded rugs can leave cracks and creases damaging the carpet and the backing of the carpet. To roll a carpet correctly, roll from the “bottom” to the top. To find the “bottom,” run your hand over the fibers to determine which direction is “with the grain” and which is against. Follow the direction that is with the grain to the edge and start making the roll from there. Roll the carpet as tight as possible and secure with a piece of rope.
  • Wrap the rolled carpet in brown craft paper or canvas for storage. DO NOT wrap a rug in plastic. Craft paper allows the rug to “breathe” as well as allows any moisture build-up to escape. Plastic covering causing moisture build-up which could damage to the rug over time.
  • Do not store rugs lying flat on the ground. Store the rug standing up off of the ground. This will help prevent moisture build up from the ground. Do not store anything on top of a stored rug. Boxes and other items can cause cracks and destroy a rug’s shape.
  • Unroll a rug every 6-12 months while in storage to inspect for damage.

 

Stop into any of the 5 Magellan Storage locations in Los Angeles and Orange Counties to see how our storage professionals can help you with find you the right rug or carpet storage solution.

Self Storage for Restaurants and Caterers

Self Storage for Restaurants and CaterersSelf storage is a great solution for businesses to store excess office equipment and document storage. Retail stores can use self storage for excess inventory, documents and fixtures. Contractors use storage units to store their tools and equipment. Businesses can use self storage in a variety of ways from a simple storage unit to a storage unit that is set-up and organized for document storage or even used as a shipping area for a small business. Small businesses, contractor or even large corporations are great matches for business self storage solutions.  Another type of business that can easily store items in a self storage unit are restaurants or caterers.

Where do restaurants or caterers who have run out of extra room in their businesses storage their extra furniture, supplies, dishes, glassware or displays? A self storage unit is the easiest and most convenient solution for restaurant owners and catering businesses to store the items that they don’t have room for at their business location.  The only thing that should NOT be stored for either of these industries is food, both perishable and non-perishable.

Self Storage for Caterers

Most small businesses do not have the room to store excess inventory, furniture and other needed equipment.  Self storage is a great option for a catering business, especially for those caterers that work out of their home! The busiest time of the year for caterers is the summer months and during the holiday season. During the off-season, caterers and party planners need a place to store their furniture, chairs, tables, decorations, dishes, glassware, silverware, serving utensils and linens. It is much more convenient to place these items in one place in a secured self storage unit than to have to store in a garage or take over a room at a home. It is important to keep a running inventory list in the storage unit as well as at your business of the items that you have in storage. This helps you keep track of what you have and what you might need to restock for future engagements.

Self Storage for Restaurants

Restaurants can rent a self storage unit to store excess chairs, tables, dishes, flatware, pots, cooking utensils and paperwork that they do not have room for in the actual restaurant building. If the restaurant has a patio, then the patio furniture will need to be stored during the colder, rainy months. When storing furniture, stack the chairs whenever possible in order to utilize all the room in the storage unit. Make sure the dishes and glassware are wrapped and packed properly to prevent breakage during storage. Restaurants can also store holiday decorations to relieve the clutter in the restaurant. Store the holiday decorations toward the back of the storage unit until you need to use them again in the next year.

Magellan Storage has a variety of storage units from 5×5 to 10×30 available in both climate and non-climate controlled that are great for storing everything for the restaurant or catering industry.

 

Home Decluttering and Organization Tips for the New Year

Home Organization Tips for 2016Every year, just before New Year’s Eve, people make resolutions to get healthy, exercise, save more money and get more organized. According to Statistic Brain, the number two resolution behind the perpetual resolution, losing weight, was to get organized. There is no time like the present to start planning to better organize your life and declutter your home to make it more organized after the chaos of the holiday season!

Now is the perfect time to work on organization projects big and small. You can start with small projects such as reorganizing a bathroom and then move onto larger organization projects such as re-organizing your entire kitchen.

The hardest thing to do is to get the motivation to start working on your organization projects.  But, by preparing to start on your home organization below, you can easily start off 2016 on an organized path. Start with a goal in mind for your organizing and decluttering project. After you decide on your goal, create a list of what you need to do, what moving or packing supplies you will need for your project. To make the decluttering project less difficult, consider breaking down your decluttering project into rooms and even specific area; it can help make the task less daunting. Having smaller tasks will help you finish the projects that you started.

Tips for Home Organization Projects

By following some of the simple organization tips below, you can easily start off 2016 on an organized path:

  1. The first step of any reorganization project is to remove all items from the room (or area) that you want to reorganize.
  2.  Once you have removed the items and cleared out the room, then it is time to sort the items into the following piles (or boxes): keep in the room, store, donate, sell or throw away. This is the hardest step to any home organization project as we are all very emotionally attached to our things; which in turn causes more clutter to gather in our homes.
  3. Remove the items that you no longer want or need in the room as soon as possible. Donate the items that you don’t need any more to organizations that could use them. Donate books to a library or school. Donate clothing to local shelters and donations centers, such as the Salvation Army or Goodwill.
  4. Rent a storage unit for items that you can’t part with, but no longer have a place for in the newly organized room.
  5. Once, you have created a clutter free environment, it is important to keep it organized going forward by doing daily cleaning, such as putting toys away  in their designated spots after use or keeping the kitchen tidied after each meal.
  6. Purchase organizational supplies such as shelving units, storage bins, door storage organizers, and baskets to give loose items a “home”. This is especially helpful in a kitchen pantry or a closet.
  7. A simple daily tip to reduce clutter is to sort your mail right away. Place magazines and catalogs that you won’t read directly into the recycle bin and place bills and other mail that have to be answered in a specially designated spot.

With proper planning and a goal in mind, you can declutter and reorganize your home and start a plan to keep it organized going into the New Year. Magellan Storage has a variety of storage options, including climate and non-climate controlled, available for every storage need from storing electronics, unused exercise equipment, extra furniture and family heirlooms.

Artificial Christmas Tree Storage Tips

Tips for Storing a Christmas TreeThe holiday season is over and if you haven’t started already, now is the time to take down holiday decorations. Holiday decorations come in all shapes and sizes, but most are smaller and relatively easy to store. Holiday decoration storage  is easy if you follow simple preparation steps such as checking the decorations for any broken or damaged items, sorting and then storing the decoration by type and  storing the decorations in original boxes whenever possible.

Placing seasonal decorations in a storage unit is a great way to eliminate some of the post-holiday clutter that tends to accumulate at the beginning of every New Year.  Seasonal items can be stored in the back of a storage unit and then switched out throughout the year when they are needed. A climate controlled storage unit is also a great storage suggestion for holiday trees. The constant temperature will keep the branches looking “fresher” for when the tree is needed again.

Artificial Christmas Tree Storage Tips

The one holiday decoration that is usually large, takes up a lot of storage space and comes in variety of sizes is an artificial Christmas tree.  These trees need to be properly prepared for storage so they can be used for many holidays to come. Always check with the manufacturer instructions and recommendations for how to store their particular tree before taking apart or putting the Christmas tree in storage. Some companies might recommend storing the trees taken apart, while others recommend keeping the tree fully assembled. Each Christmas tree storage solution will require time and storage space. The first step in preparing the tree for storage is to inspect the tree branches from the top down and inside and out to see if any repairs need to be made.  If the tree has permanent lights already attached look for any broken or burnt out bulbs and replace before placing in storage.  

Storing Christmas Tree Branches

The most common way to store a Christmas tree is to take apart the tree and store it in a box (or boxes depending on the size of the tree).  By following the tips below the tree branches can be stored properly and ready to be used for next year’s holiday. As you take down the tree, compress the branches to preserve the needles and branches. Next, remove the top section of the tree and then remove tree branches section-by-section from the top down. After the branches are off, loosen the bolts of the tree stand and remove the bottom section of the tree. Gather the hardware together and place in a plastic bag.  Attach the bag to one of the branches or to the tree stand, so it will not get lost.  Store the tree branches in the original box whenever possible. If the original boxes are not an option, then use a storage bin, duffel bag, or boxes which are large enough to hold all parts of the tree.

Christmas Tree Storage Bags

An alternative option for storing a Christmas tree is covering it with a Christmas tree storage bag. This is actually one of the best and easiest way to store an artificial tree, because you do not have to take apart the tree. If you have a large enough storage bag, you can actually leave the lights, garland and sometimes the ornaments on the tree during storage. The only downside to storing a fully assembled tree is that it will take up more storage space than just storing the branches in boxes. A Christmas tree storage bag is a great way to keep the tree protected from dirt, dust and debris. The storage bags come in a variety of sizes from small to extra-large. It is important to have a storage bag that is sized to fit your particular Christmas tree.  Some of the storage bags come with attached wheels, which allows for easier moving of the tree in and out of storage.

Magellan Storage  offers a variety of storage unit sizes in both climate and climate controlled at our 7 locations that are great for holiday decoration storage from boxes of ornaments to artificial Christmas trees!

 

Ten Tips for Hiring a Home Inspector

Hiring a home inspectorA home inspection is a very important component of the home purchasing process.  Home inspections can uncover problems that could cost a home buyer a lot of money in repairs. According to the American Society of Home Inspectors a home inspection is a visual assessment of a home’s structure and systems. Home inspections look at structural and operational aspects of a home.

What does a Home Inspector Do?

There are specific things in a home that home inspection services look for such as cracks in the foundation, insulation problems, and leaky faucets. The inspectors should follow a home inspection checklist when they walk through the home. The checklist includes inspecting the following aspects of the home: structural, exterior and roofing, plumbing and electrical systems, heating and air conditioning, home interiors, appliances and fireplaces. Most home inspections do not include fences and outbuildings. Knowing specific home inspection tips for buyers will help the inspection process go smoother and will allow the home owners to know what the inspectors will be looking for during the home inspection process.

How to Find a Home Inspector

Hiring the right home inspector is crucial to having a good home inspection.  A home buyer’s real estate agent will make recommendations on home inspectors that they have used in the past; however a home owner can look for their own home inspectors.

 

  1. If you are choosing your own inspector, do research on the home inspection services in your area. Check for reviews on Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google.
  2. Ask the home inspector what is included in their home inspections. A good inspector will be able to go into crawl spaces, on the roof and in the attic.
  3. The home inspector should be accredited from home inspector organizations such as American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) or National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI).
  4. If the house is older or a fixer-upper, hire an inspector with experience with those types of homes. These home inspectors are able to look for things in the older homes that a newer inspector might not catch.
  5. Ask the inspector how long the inspection should last. The average inspection takes between 2-4 hours.
  6. Inspections will vary by cost depending on the location and accreditation of the inspector. Most inspections range from $300 to $600.
  7. Homebuyers should be at the home during the inspection.
  8. Home inspectors should be booked as soon as the real estate contract is signed. Inspectors can be very busy and can be booked out sometimes up to 2 weeks.
  9. Inspectors will usually deliver the inspection report within 24-48 hours. However, they should be accessible for immediate questions during the inspection. They can tell home buyers if there are major repairs needed at the time of the inspection.
  10. After the inspection report is completed, the home owner should get estimates for costs for any major repair work that can be added into a new contract for the home.

Once the inspection and the sale of the home are finalized, it is time to start planning the move into the new home. Part of the moving process is to determine what you will need to move and what you will need to store. Stop by any of the 7 Magellan Storage locations  in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas to see how our storage professionals can help with homeowner storage needs.

2015 Holiday Attractions and Events in Los Angeles

Outdoor Skating Rinks in LA AreaThe Los Angeles area is a great place to spend the holidays. Even though Los Angeles doesn’t get a “white Christmas”, there are still many ways to enjoy the winter season from viewing holiday light displays to going skating in outdoor skating rinks or celebrating the holidays at all of the great amusement parks or destination points. Below are just a few of the many family friendly holiday events and activities in the Los Angeles area.

Chill and the Ice Kingdom at the Queen Mary

The Queen Mary hosts CHILL featuring the Ice Kingdom in Long Beach now through January 10th.  The dome of the Queen Mary is frozen over and transformed into a giant igloo adventure. There is a 13,000 square foot walk-thru exhibit featuring larger-than-life ice sculptures made of over 2 million pounds of ice. There is ice tubing, ice skating, a sleigh ride, enchanted garden and hedge maze, shops, food vendors and more activities for the entire family to enjoy. Carolers and other entertainment will help enhance the holiday spirit.

It’s beginning to feel a lot Like Christmas–Outdoor Skating

The holidays are full of fun activities for the entire family including outdoor skating rinks at various locations throughout the city, outdoor lighting displays, and special shows. There is outdoor skating at Pershing Square in Downtown Los Angeles through January 18, 2016. Nokia Plaza has an outdoor rink and a nightly LED holiday light show on-screen set up around the plaza.  Irving Spectrum also has an outdoor skating rink. Open skate events daily with extended sessions on the weekends. The rinks are open through February 15, 2016, but closed on Christmas Day.  Santa Monica has the largest rink in the area with 8000 square feet of real ice.  There are daily skating and special events throughout the run. The season runs to January 18, 2016.

Holiday Boat Parades

Illuminated boat parades are very popular during the holiday season in the Los Angeles area. Coastal communities and yacht clubs throughout Los Angeles host the holiday parades every year to the delight of thousands of viewers.  The Dana Point Boat Parade of Lights  runs for two weekends: December 11th and 12th and 18th and 19th at Dana Point Harbor. The parade starts each evening at 7:30.  The Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade is December 12th. Fireworks kick off the parade at 5:55pm.  The boat parade can be viewed from multiple locations in Marina del Rey.  The largest boat parade of the season is the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade.  Illuminated canoes, kayaks, boats and multi-million dollar yachts travel around the harbor past holiday decorated homes and businesses. The boat parade is a 4 day event running December 16th thru December 20st starting every evening at 6:30pm at Bay Island .There is a fireworks display on the last day of the festival at the end of the parade.

Los Angeles Zoo Lights

One of the biggest holiday light displays is at the LA Zoo for Zoo Lights.  An expanded area of the LA Zoo is transformed into a winter fantasy wonderland with animated and glowing animal displays. You can see real reindeer, visit with Santa, and enjoy holiday treats and entertainment. The LA Zoo Lights runs now through January 3rd. Tickets go very quickly for this popular event!

The Holiday Season at Southern California Amusement Parks

The amusement parks in the Los Angeles celebrate the holiday season with fantastic special events, holiday decorations and family activities. Disneyland is celebrating “Disneyland at Christmas”.  The entire resort is transformed into a winter wonderland with lights displays, greenery and exclusive Christmas Fantasy and Paint the Night Parades and nightly fireworks.  There is even an outdoor skating rink in Downtown Disney Village.  Universal Studios presents “Grinchmas” at Universal Studios celebrates Dr. Seuss’s classic Christmas tale with special musical performances, evening snowfalls, and a spectacular curved Christmas tree. Knott’s Berry Farm is transformed into Knott’s Merry Farm to celebrate “A Charlie Brown’s Christmas”.  There is also a Christmas Crafts Village at Knott’s Berry Farm for artist demonstrations and unique gifts

There are so many things to do and see during the holiday season in the Los Angeles area! Magellan Storage wishes all of our customers, friends and family a wonderful holiday season!

Holiday Season Safety Tips

home holiday safety tipsThanksgiving is over. The holiday season has officially begun.  Are you prepared for the holiday season? Have you created a holiday planning checklist to keep your family organized during the holidays? Have you started decorating your home for the holidays? As you are putting up your decorations both indoors and outdoors or choosing your live Christmas tree, there are certain holiday safety tips that you should follow to make sure that your home is safe from decorating, fire and food safety.

 

Magellan Storage  wants to help keep your family safe this holiday season by proving these simple holiday safety tips from holiday hosting  and food preparation to home decoration safety tips.

Holiday Hosting Safety Tips

  • When preparing a holiday meal for friends and family, make sure to wash hands, utensils, counter space and anything else that has had contact with raw poultry.
  • Never defrost food at room temperature. Thaw food in the refrigerator, in the microwave or in a pan of cold water.
  • Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within two hours after serving. Put dates on the leftovers so you will know when they can no longer be eaten. Refrigerated leftovers should be discarded after 4 days.
  • Keep anything flammable away from cooking or heated surfaces.
  • If using a turkey fryer, set it up at least 10 feet away from the house on a flat surface. Keep children and pets away from the fryer.
  • Do not leave turkey fryers unattended. Use extreme care as the lid and handle of the fryer can be extremely hot. Keep a fire extinguisher on hand for emergencies.

Holiday Decoration Home Safety Tips

According to the Unites States Fire Administration,  Christmas tree fires are not common, but when they do occur, they can be very dangerous. One of every three home Christmas tree fires is caused by an electrical fire and one in every six Christmas tree fires are caused because a tree was too close to a heat source.  The U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission has created a holiday decoration safety tip guide  that is a great resource to read when decorating your home for the holidays.

Artificial and Real Christmas Trees

  • Many artificial trees are fire resistant , artificial Christmas trees should have a fire resistant label attached to the tree.
  • Fresh trees are green, the needles are hard to pull off and the trunk is sticky with resin. Fresh trees are less of a fire hazard than dried trees.
  • When setting up the tree, cut off at least two inches of the trunk to expose fresh wood for better water absorption. Place the live tree in a sturdy stand with wide-spread feet. Water the tree every day. The fresh tree stand should be filled with water the entire time that the tree is indoors.
  • Do NOT place Christmas trees near heat sources such as fireplaces, radiators, heat vents or other heat sources.
  • Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant decorations and materials on the tree.
  • For homes with small children or pets, do not use decorations that are sharp and breakable and keep the decorations a good distance from the floor.
  • When a tree starts to drop leaves, it means that it is drying out and that it is time to remove it from the home. Do not keep a dried out tree in a garage or against the wall of the home. Investigate Christmas tree recycling programs in your city and where to properly dispose of the tree.

Holiday Lights

  • Check the light strands for broken or cracked sockets, frayed wires or loose connections. Throw away the damaged lights or repair them before use.
  • Use only lights that have been tested for safety. Underwriters Laboratory (UL) is one the well-known testing laboratories.
  • The light wires should not be warm to the touch when in use.
  • Use no more than 3 standard sets of lights per one extension cord for decoration on the tree or inside the home.
  • Use LED lights, which use less energy and run cooler than traditional incandescent lights.
  • Remember to turn off the lights on the tree before leaving the home or going to bed.

Candles

  • Fire safety experts do not recommend using flame candles for holiday decorations. The experts recommend using battery-operated candles or LED lights.
  • If using flame candles, place them away from flammable items such as decorations, greenery, and wrapping paper.
  • Never use candles to light up a Christmas tree.
  • Do not place candle displays on tables in a high traffic area where they could easily be knocked over.
  • Never keep an open flame unattended. Always keep a burning candle within your sight.