The holiday season is upon us and one particular aspect of the holiday season, outside of gatherings with family and friends, is the tradition of decorating our homes and yards to be as festive as we can make them.

With the decorations, there are plenty of hazards introduced to our homes, and even our work areas, that we generally won’t deal with throughout the year. These include string lights that get hung inside and outside, an increase in candle use, and some put up a tree, whether natural or fake, to celebrate!

The greatest risk during the holiday season, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is fires. Fires can be caused by dry Christmas trees, burning candles, and damaged holiday lights.

Other risks that people don’t tend to think about are the risks associated with the task of decorating itself. According to the CPSC, on average, some 15,000 people end up in the emergency room each year due to accidents related to decorating. Some stats courtesy of the CPSC are here:

  • 34% of decorating injuries are due to falls
  • 11 % of injuries are due to lacerations
  • 10% of injuries are back strains/sprains

So how do we protect ourselves from these risks? It’s simple! Be careful, pay attention to what you’re doing, and ensure that your decorations are in proper working order. You can also follow these tips below, courtesy of the CPSC, and the Electrical Safety Foundation:

  • Keep decorations at least three feet away from heat sources
  • Be sure to run cords under rugs or furniture
  • Ensure to water natural Christmas trees
  • Always turn off decorations when you leave or go to sleep
  • Never overload outlets
  • Keep electronics away from wet areas
  • Ensure your home is equipped with smoke alarms
  • Discard damaged or worn-out decorations
  • Use safe ladder practices when installing decorations

The holidays are what you make of them. If you make them safe, then you will make them much more enjoyable for you and your family. Here’s to a safe holiday season!