Several holidays are fast approaching - Halloween, Thanksgiving and, of course, Christmas.
With so many opportunities to celebrate coming up, there will be ample opportunity to decorate your property. This includes the house of course, and maybe even the barn.
Of course, if you are planning to decorate any space where your animals habitate, you have to take special care to ensure that your decorations are set up safely, and nothing harmful to your animal we’ll be easily reachable.
We’ve put together a few quick holiday barn decorating safety tips to ensure that you, and your animals, can get the most out of the holidays, while remaining safe.
Lights & Electronics
Lights are a great way to literally light up any space - be it festive lighting for Christmas, or eerie lighting to create an spooky atmosphere for a great Halloween party. You just want to ensure you are both using the right kind of lights and they are set up safely as not to be a hazard.
First of all, make sure the bulbs you use are rated for outdoor use. LEDs can be a great option. The wrong kind of lights can easily let in moisture and potentially cause a fire.
Battery-powered lights are great alternative to standard lights, as they avoid many of the hazards created by traditional lights.
Installing Your Holiday Lights
When it comes to installing strings of lights, you’ll want to first inspect all the lights and wires to make sure no bulbs are broken, and the wires aren’t frayed.
We’d also suggest that all light strings plug into a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter or GFCI. This device will detect any dangerous ground faults and automatically cut power if necessary.
Once you’ve inspected your lights and the time has come to hang them, you’ll want to be strategic about placement. Avoid hanging lights or wires within reach of your horses, and if possible keep wires off the ground altogether. Lastly, be careful when running cords through doorways, so nothing gets caught when the door is opened or closed.
Open flames are a big no-no - so, keep those candles in your kitchen drawer, ready for the next power outage.
Other Ornaments & Decorations
It should go without saying that glass ornaments should be avoided at all costs. They may look nice, but if they shatter they’ll create a heck of a mess.
Not only is clean up a pain, but it also creates a real hazard for your horses and other animals. It can be challenging to make sure every last piece of glass is picked up and leftover shards can easily find themselves lodged in your animal’s foot.
Keep in mind that anything new or out of the ordinary introduced into your barn will instantly become a focus of your animal's attention. It’s just the way it is. Try to remember this when you pick flowers, and other plants for decorations.
There are many plants that can be toxic to horses and other animals. And as we pointed out, new flowers and other plants introduced into their environment will quickly become a focus of their attention.
Here are a few examples.
Chrysanthemums can be toxic to horses, as well as corn cobs and stocks because of the bacteria they harbor. Pumpkins themselves aren’t toxic, but their stems could be a serious choking hazard.
Holidays are great times for celebrating with your friends, both human and from the animal kingdom. Similarly, the desire to decorate your barn can be great, and if done correctly, can be done safely and beautifully!
If you're interested in learning more about how we can help you get started on your journey to horse farm ownership, please get in touch with Hill or Regan Parker online or call 859-608-8039 today!