For millions of Americans, decorating for the holidays is a joyful annual tradition. Taking the time to observe a few holiday decorating safety tips can help insure that it remains a joyful time of year and does not turn into tragedy.  Here are a few reminders:


In a three year study, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it was discovered that 18,000 people went to the emergency room due to holiday decorating falls.

  • If you are going to use a ladder to help decorate, make sure the ladder is secure and follow all the safety directions provided by the manufacturer.

Fires are another safety concern around the holidays.

  • To help reduce the risk of fires, make sure you place your tree away from any heat sources.
  • If you have a real tree, make sure there is water in the stand. Otherwise the tree and its needles will dry up faster which will increase its fire hazard.  To help ensure that your tree is getting adequately hydrated, cut two inches off the trunk of the tree to expose fresh wood.  This helps water absorb better into your tree.  A fresh and well hydrated tree is green, the needles are hard to pull off, and the trunk is sticky with resin.  If there is a shower of needles falling from your tree, this is a sign that your tree is too dry.
  • When using candles, make sure that they are away from any decorations, wrapping paper, or any other flammable material.  Also make sure to keep any candles out of the reach of children.
  • Lights – When installing decorative lights, check for cracks, frays, loose connections, and bad sockets.
  • Turn off these lights when you leave your house or go to bed. Always follow the manufacturers instructions and use only up to three standard-sized sets of lights for each extension cord.
  • Finally, test all your smoke alarms and make sure you have an emergency plan in place in case a fire does break out.

Following these safety tips will help to ensure that your holiday season remains a joyous occasion and does not result in a tragedy.

If you remember these tips, hopefully the holiday season will be a pleasant and enjoyable time and as always, remember to buckle up.