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Holiday Decoration Safety Practical Advice

Dec 15th, 2023

Holiday Decoration Safety

The holiday season, for many, is a time of joy, celebration, and bringing warmth to the cold winter days with dazzling decorations. But did you know that each year, putting up those decorations results in more than 18,000 visits to emergency rooms? This fact stresses the importance of taking some basic safety precautions when decking the halls (or the roofs or even the yard). Before you start untangling those lights and hanging up ornaments, here’s what you need to know to ensure the holiday decorations don’t ruin the season.


Potential Risks in Holiday Decorating

One of the most common risks when decorating for the holidays involves using ladders. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), about 40 percent of holiday decorating injuries result from falls. To avoid such accidents, always ensure your ladder is sturdy, placed on a level surface, and extends about three feet over the roofline or working surface. Always keep three points of contact (two hands and a foot or two feet and a hand) with the ladder at all times. The same goes for decorating taller trees. If your tree requires a ladder to reach the top, take precautions to maintain your balance.

Another risk comes from hanging decorations on doors and windows. Ensure they are secure and not obstructing any exits. In an emergency, you want to be sure you and your loved ones can get out of the house quickly and safely.


Fire Hazards: Lights and More

Holiday lights add a magical touch to the season but also come with their share of risks. Despite lights being made safer over the years, the National Fire Protection Association says holiday lights still start 770 home fires each year. Inspect all light strands for frayed cords, cracked lamps, or loose connections to mitigate this risk. Replace any damaged light strands. and never overload your electrical outlets by “daisy-chaining” too many light strands together.

Live holiday trees pose another potential hazard. They can dry out and become flammable. This is especially the case if they’re near a heat source or if the lights on them overheat. Artificial trees are generally safer. If you love the smell of a fresh tree, water it daily and keep it away from fireplaces and heaters.


A Safe Conclusion to the Season

Taking down holiday decorations can be just as hazardous as putting them up. Never pull on strings of lights to remove them. Instead, take the time to remove each clip and store them properly for next year. Never be in a hurry to take down decorations; practice the same amount of care recommended in putting them up.

Even when taking precautions, occasionally, holiday decorating may still cause injury due to someone’s negligence–for example, faulty manufacturing or a worker not being careful. Have you or a loved one sustained injuries that were preventable because someone failed to meet their duty of care? The law entitles you to compensation to cover your losses. Call our offices to discuss your options.