According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 8,700 people end up in the emergency room with holiday-related injuries every year. There are 400 Christmas tree fires that cause 20 deaths, 70 injuries, and $15 million in property damage and loss, with an additional 10,000 fires each year related to candles.
With a little extra planning, you can ensure that your holiday season will be safe and accident-free, leaving more energy for dealing with family, shopping, and cooking. Let’s take a closer look at some safety tips for the holidays.
Christmas Tree Safety Tips
Choosing a good tree for decorating is the first step in being safe. Your live tree should be green, moist, have a trunk that is sticky with resin, and feature pine needles that are difficult to pull from the branches.
Keep your Christmas tree away from fireplaces and other heat sources. It’s a good idea to keep the tree away from heavy traffic areas, as well.
Take care to water your live tree regularly. If you have pets, keep them away from the water in the tree, as it may be toxic to them due to bacteria or fertilizer that was used on the tree.
The most beautiful things about a decorated tree are the lights that twinkle, but you want to make sure they are hung snuggly and do not present a choking hazard for children or pets. Make sure any extension chords are certified safe for use in your home.
Holiday Decorations Safety Tips
The tree is just the center of decorations in most homes, and there are many other possible hazards that can be avoided with other items used to make your home a beautiful place during the holidays. Choose decorations that are flame-resistant and made of non-combustible materials.
If you have small children, place bowls of miniature pinecones, potpourri, small ornaments, hard candy, and nativity scenes with small pieces high and out of reach. These all can cause choking, and their bright colors and shininess are irresistible.
Keep all holly and mistletoe in high places that are out of reach. Consider using flameless candles that are safer and can’t cause a fire if accidentally knocked over during a holiday party or active children.
Holiday Lights Safety Tips
Test your lights each year to make sure they are not damaged and in good working order before you put them up around the house. Make sure your lights are tagged and certified tested for safety.
Outdoor lights can be amazing, but you want to be sure that your ladder is sturdy and free of obstacles when hanging them. If it’s windy outside, save the light hanging for another day to prevent injuries.