What is the best way to clean up and store those Christmas decorations?
• Start with the ornaments. Keep only the ornaments that are in good condition. Store them in clear bags sorted by color or style.
•When you take down your lights, check for broken bulbs. Don’t keep anything that has cracked or frayed cords – this will be a fire hazard the next time you go to use them. When putting your lights away, organize them and label the box or wrap them in masking tape and mark the tape. You can also wrap them around cardboard so they will not tangle. Label whether they are indoor or outdoor lights. Remember if you are storing your lights in the attic, summer temperatures can get very hot, and plastic lights can melt.
• If you store your artificial tree in the garage, consider shrink-wrapping it. This will keep it clean and protected.
• Since your stove and oven were used a lot over the holidays, this is a good time to really get your oven clean. It will make a difference in future cooking.
• Make sure your fireplace is in good working condition. If you will be using it over the winter season, be sure to have it inspected for cracking or deterioration and make any needed repairs.
Cinda Seamon – Fire & Life Safety Educator, Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue