Decorating Safely During the Holidays

Although holiday decorations can be beautiful and make your home more festive, they can also be hazardous if used incorrectly and increase your home’s fire risks.

Before you begin to deck the halls and fill your home with holiday cheer, please review these tips to keep your home and family safe during this holiday season.

  • Take care when shopping for electrical decorations, such as lights. Only buy products with a UL rating, indicating they have been tested for safe use.
  • Inspect all new and used lights. Throw away any strands with cracks, exposed wires, or loose connections.
  • Carefully read all installation and usage instructions for electrical decorations. Ensure decorations are for outdoor use before setting up outside.
  • Only use GFCI outlets when plugging in exterior lights and electrical decorations. Do not secure outdoor lights with staples or nails.
  • Always use caution when stringing lights or decorations above your normal reach. Use a proper ladder with another adult supporting the base. If outdoors, clear the area from snow, ice, and debris before decorating to reduce your chance of a fall.
  • Be mindful of extension cords. Make sure cords (and all other decorations) are not blocking walkways, creating tripping hazards. Avoid placing under carpeting, rugs, and furniture. Inspect extension cords for signs of wear and damage before use. Do not connect more than three strands of lights to an extension cord at one time.
  • Unplug all indoor and outdoor electrical decorations and lighting before going to bed and leaving the house.
  • Keep Christmas trees at least 3 feet away from heat sources including heaters and fireplaces. Always keep a fire extinguisher near your tree. Place trees in sturdy stands.
  • Live trees dry out quickly and become highly flammable. Only keep trees for two weeks. Check the water level multiple times a week.
  • If purchasing an artificial tree, make sure it is labeled “fire resistant.”
  • If decorating with candles, keep them on a study base to prevent tipping. Do not place near any loose fabrics or other decorations. Keep out of reach of pets and kids. Extinguish before going to bed or leaving the house. Opt for battery-operated as a safe choice.
  • Do not light the fireplace if hanging stockings on the mantel. Hang stockings in another area if you enjoy a cozy fire over the holidays.
  • Be confident that you are protected. Contact us if you would like to review your home insurance policy to make sure you are covered and well-protected before the unexpected happens.

We know that holiday decorating can be a fun and festive tradition. Follow these safety tips to enjoy the holidays in your home worry-free!

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