Don't Be a Clark Griswold - Holiday Home Safety Tips

Real Estate Broker/Owner with ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors

Have Fun at Home - Make it Safe and Warm

National Lampoon Christmas Vacation



My husband and I enjoy watching the National Lampoon movie "Christmas Vacation" as a silly break from the holiday craziness. Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase), the well-intentioned but hapless homeowner, is determined to stage the best Christmas ever for his family. But he tries too hard and makes a mess of things.  During the scenes when Clark is anxiously putting up Christmas lights, my husband is constantly saying "That's not safe" at everything Clark does. From climbing up an Barbara D'Angelounstable ladder, to using a stapler on electrical wire, to the overloaded multiple-extension cord power outlet, Clark is a lesson in what NOT to do around the home during the holidays.




Home For The Holidays Should Be Safe

No one wants to think of bad things happening during this cheerful season, but the US Consumer Protection Commission reports that there are some 12,500 injuries each year related to decorating the home. With a few precautions (and a little common sense), some of these hazards can be avoided.  A good starting point is the list of safety tips published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Here are a few:

  • Only use holiday lights classified for outdoors on the outside - don't mix them up with indoor lights.
  • Keep lit candles 12 inches from anything flammable and remember to blow them out at night. (Or get a few of those battery - operated candles.  I know, not the same ambiance, but they are safer!)
  • Water the tree regularly (if it's a cut tree, of course! In fact, here's a great article on how to keep a cut tree fresh.)
  • Unplug tree lights before leaving the house or going to bed. (Also a good time to check those candles.)
  • Have your fireplace flue cleaned before using it extensively.
  • Check all fire extinguishers and make sure everyone knows where they are and how to use them.
  • Reverse overhead ceiling fan blades to direct the heat down into the room to keep you warmer.

So, stay warm, enjoy your holiday decorations, but don't be a Clark Griswold - Be Safe!  And call us if you want to hear more about home related information in Camas, Washougal and Fisher's Landing. We're your locals! 

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ViewHomes™ grew out of our passion for nature, beautiful surroundings, and peaceful environments. Starting together in an urban environment, over the years we've gravitated towards areas with smaller populations and less density. We now enjoy our lifestyle in a rural environment, but with close proximity to metropolitan areas where we appreciate all the amenities of fine restaurants, shopping, and an easy drive to an international airport.
Living in ViewHomes™ is like having “elbowroom for the soul”.






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Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Geneva Financial, Llc. - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Debb Janes I fondly remember as a young boy, my grandmother always decorated her Christmas Tree with real candles and she would light them on Christmas Eve. Never a fire; the old-timers knew how to safely run with scissors!

Dec 23, 2014 01:23 AM #1
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Wonderful tips for holiday safety. Bernie reminds me of  Ron when we watch a movie. Happy everything to you both. A

Dec 23, 2014 01:24 AM #2
Terri Poehler
Realtor - Coral Springs, FL
Coral Springs Real Estate Agent

Things have changed and come up to code drastically but we still have to take safety measures

Dec 23, 2014 01:26 AM #3
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Debb - That movie cracks me up. We have a Clark Griswold in our neighborhood, way overdue to set something on fire. He could use these tips.

Dec 23, 2014 01:29 AM #4
Sharon Paxson
Compass - Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach Real Estate

Hi Debb - good holiday safety tips. Especially candles and keeping the tree watered!! Hope you are having a great holiday!

Dec 23, 2014 01:55 AM #5
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Did Joan tell you about my HOUSE!!   No I cut back this year, Clark is way ahead of me.  Havea great day!

Dec 23, 2014 01:56 AM #6
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance - Jonesborough, TN
Retired and loving life

Debb-Smart tips for all of us. Glad you get to have a break during the holidays.

Dec 23, 2014 02:18 AM #7
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Hey all, about ready to go to the airport. Yahoo, my baby is home. :) 

Dec 23, 2014 02:33 AM #8
Anita Clark
ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

Debb: It is one of our favorite Christmas movies but he sure breaks a lot of safety rules along the way. Good list to remind us to be safe during the holidays.

Dec 23, 2014 05:35 AM #9
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty

Great analogy and great tips on how to have a safe, "Un-Griswold" Christmas

Dec 23, 2014 05:41 AM #10
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

We have to watch that movie every year at least once - it just cracks us up.  Great intro to some terrific tips on having a safe Christmas.

Dec 23, 2014 06:18 AM #11
Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert
Richmond, TX


 You have such great advice my favorite movies for the Holidays top 2 are Elf,

Scrooge. I really did send Robert (Bob) Gilbert for the makings for your very beautiful drink...I had some sparkling wine so we will be using that. Thanks for sharing!

Dec 23, 2014 10:19 AM #12
Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert
Richmond, TX


 Ok we have a minor problem I made my margaritas tonight but the whole family decided they had to help Bob test taste and now we are back to squeezing fresh lime juice and starting over....ok well only half over...

Dec 23, 2014 10:25 AM #13
Robert Bob Gilbert
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties - Katy, TX
Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert

Debb Janes - I love the Clark Griswold movie but its been several years since I have seen again. Excellent tips to follow during this time of the year. Merry Christmas to you and your large family!

Dec 23, 2014 10:25 AM #14
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

Hello Debb,

Christmas Vacation is such a funny movie and I've used Clark Griswold in an earlier blog (great minds think alike, LOL).

He is a cautionary tale for the Christmas season!

Dec 23, 2014 12:25 PM #15
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

Good morning Debb. The Griswold's are great humorous way to draw attention to serious problems that happen around Christmas time.

Dec 23, 2014 06:40 PM #16
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Debb, Have a very happy holiday... and I guess be safe 

Dec 24, 2014 12:40 AM #17
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi Debb -- yes, safety first at all times but especially during the holidays.

I read of a neighborhood in Orange County(California) where they had strung lights across the streets and between the homes --- not a good idea and one that has been fortunately corrected.  

Dec 24, 2014 12:59 AM #18
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

These a great safety tips to share.

Best wishes for a Very Merry Christmas!

Dec 24, 2014 01:57 AM #19
Dana Basiliere
Rossi & Riina Real Estate - Williston, VT
Making deals "Happen"

I loved that movie. I We had a cat that used to chew on the cords going to the lights on the tree. She never got zapped like the Griswolds cat. It was probably the sweetness from all the lead on the wires from "out of town" .

Jan 06, 2015 11:11 AM #20
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Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD

REALTORS® in Clark County, WA
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