3 Tips for Your Holiday Home: Ask Anthony

Sheri Reed

anthony gilardi, home improvement advice

In his year-end post, Anthony offers three important tips for your holiday home, including ladder safety, surge protector and energy saver use, and fire extinguisher and smoke detector tips.

Ask HGTV's Anthony Gilardi your home improvement or home repair question TODAY in the comments below, and he'll answer in a future post.

Hello, Moms,

Well, it's that time of year again. The most wonderful time of the year...

Wondering if you and/or your husband and kids will burn the house down after installing all those crazy holiday lights? Wondering if someone fall off a ladder that was placed on top of an ice sheet? Wondering how much your energy bill will cost in January?

Ahhh the wonders of Christmas...

However, this year is going to be different because this year you are an "Anthony Apprentice," and you know how to "Master Your Domain." Today, we will go over three of the most important tips you will need this season. Consider it my Christmas present to you, my CafeMoms. LOL.

Anthony's Top Three Holiday Season Tips:  

#1: Ladder Safety

If you don't use your ladder on a regular basis, you always want to inspect it for flaws and/or weaknesses before you use it. Make sure it works.

Always make sure your ladder is standing on a clean, flat, stable surface. I always recommend having a helper holding the base.

The most common question I get about ladder safety is, "What angle do I use when I lean my ladder against my house?" 

Great question: The answer is a 1:4 ratio. Meaning: For every 4 feet in height, the base needs to be 1 foot away. So if you're leaning a ladder on a 16-foot high wall, the base needs to stand 4 feet away. 

Here's a drawing to illustrate:

ladder safety

An "A Frame" ladder should always be locked in the middle before use.

On a leaning ladder, do not climb higher than the third rung, and on a step ladder, do not climb higher than the second rung. I always suggest a wooden or fiberglass ladder if there are any electrical power lines in the area.

ANTHONY TIP: When in doubt about a power line, always assume a wire is LIVE! 

Most importantly...USE COMMON SENSE.   

#2: Electric Surge Protectors & Energy Savers

No matter how many extension cords you use while hanging your lights, ALWAYS use a surge protector!

I found a website that shows a good selection of surge protector types and costs.

NOTE: I recommend a surge protector model that has a built-in timer for energy savings.

In case of an emergency and/or the need to shut off or turn on a circuit breaker, make sure your Main Electrical Panel or Sub Panel is properly labeled and that there is a flashlight in the area.

#3: Fire Extinguishers & Smoke Detectors

ALWAYS have fire extinguishers handy. You should have at least one fire extinguisher in every room in your home. If your extinguisher is more than 3 to 5 years old or if you can't remember how old it is, I suggest to replace it.

Make sure you test all your smoke detectors. Replace any batteries and keep extra batteries handy. If you're not sure if you have smoke detectors in the proper locations or are using the proper type, call your local fire department and schedule an inspection.

AGAIN...use common sense.

Happy Holidays to all and to all a SAFE night. See you next year.

-Anthony Gilardi 

Need advice on a do-it-yourself home repair or improvement? Leave your question for Anthony in the comments below, and he'll respond in a future post.


Previous Ask Anthony posts:


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Fix Popping Circuit Breaker


Fix a Leaky Rain Gutter

Strip Chipped Paint off a Concrete Porch

Deal With a Mouse Problem


Refinish Hardwood Floors

Fix Slanted Floors

Remove Carpet & Sticky Adhesives


Thermostats 101

Install an Additional Thermostat

Troubleshoot Your HVAC

Fix Interior Climate Control


Fix Cracked Ceilings

Understand Types of Wall Anchors

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Fix Unhinged Cabinet Doors

Deal With a Sink Disposal Clog


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Fix Slow-Draining Sinks & Tub

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10 Summer Maintenance Tips for Your Home

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Prep Your Home for the Fall Season


Winter Heating 101


Fix Sticky Screen Door

Weatherproof Doors & Window

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