How to Avoid Holiday Horrors
Here's how to save your house from devolving into a disaster during the holidays
Big gatherings are a sign of the season, but with so many people in your home at once, a minor mishap can turn into chaos. Here's how to save your house from devolving into a disaster.
Multiple light strings crammed into a single outlet can lead to a fast-igniting blaze.
Prevent it: Keep an outlet's total amperage or volts under 15 amps, or if using a power strip, within the manufacturer's rating. If you notice sparking, pull plugs out of the outlet immediately.
Those tapers look great glowing on your table—until someone knocks them onto the linen tablecloth.
Prevent it: Never sit a candle directly on flammable material. Before lighting, trim the wick to ¼ inch; blow it out when there are 2 inches of wax left (½ inch if the candle's in a vessel).
Bye-bye birdie: Smoke starts pouring out of the oven while you're cooking.
Prevent it: Clean the oven thoroughly at least a day before the meal. When broiling, keep food at least 2 to 3 inches from the flame and place a sheet pan underneath to catch drippings that could smoke.
Lots of guests means a busy bath. A clog can make your toilet overflow, causing water damage to the ceiling below.
Prevent it: Routinely flush a natural enzyme down the drain to keep it clear. Avert an overflow by closing the water valve and using a plunger at the first sign of a slow drain.