Decorating for the holidays is a special event for families everywhere. Since many types of decorations involve electrical devices and wiring, potentially flammable materials and often candles, accidents can happen. Safety requires more than common sense – history shows that tragedies often occur as a result of an unpredictable event or a faulty device.
Fortunately, the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has teams of experts who study the causes of product-related accidents and deaths. The information they accumulated is shared with the public through their website.
Here are a few general rules for holiday decorating safety:
- Keep matches, lighters, and candles out of the reach of children.
- Avoid smoking near flammable decorations.
- Make an emergency plan to use if a fire breaks out anywhere in the home. See that each family member knows what to do. PRACTICE THE PLAN! Make sure to read our blog “How to Prepare a Fire Safety Plan for your Family” and teach it to ALL of your family members.
- Avoid wearing loose flowing clothes — particularly long, open sleeves—near open flames – such as those of a fireplace, stove, or candlelit table.
- Never burn candles near evergreens (like Christmas trees and wreaths). Burning evergreens in the fireplace can also be hazardous. When dry, greens burn like tinder. Flames can flare out of
control, and send sparks flying into a room, or up the chimney to ignite creosote deposits.
- Plan for safety. Remember, there is no substitute for common sense. Look for and eliminate potential danger spots near candles, fireplaces, trees, and/or electrical connections. Also remember that “common sense” is not enough – study the tips in the following pamphlet.
Have a safe and happy holiday!