It’s the Holiday Season and we’re all focused on getting everything done.  In the interest of safety, we invite you to take a short couple of minutes to check out the list of safety tips below. 

In the Beginning

Before you start decorating, please take a few minutes to make sure those decorations are in good shape.

Inspect electrical decorations for damage before use. Look for cracked or damaged sockets, lose or bare wires, and loose connections may cause a serious shock or start a fire.

Check decorations for certification label. Decorations not bearing a label from an independent testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Canadian Standards Association (CSA), or Intertek (ETL) have not been tested for safety and could be hazardous. 

Outdoor Decorations

Lights. When hanging outdoor lights, keep electrical connectors off the ground and away from metal rain gutters. Use insulated tape or plastic clips instead of metal nails or tacks to hold them in place.

Climbing. Using a ladder when you put up lights? Choose the correct ladder for the job and double check for a certification mark to ensure your portable ladder complies with applicable standards.

Never connect more than three strings of incandescent lights. More than three strands may not only trip the breaker but can also cause a fire. 

Indoor Decorations

Protect cords from damage. To avoid shock or fire hazards, cords should never be pinched by furniture, forced into small spaces such as doors and windows, placed under rugs, located near heat sources, or attached by nails or staples. 

Do not overload electrical outlets. Overloaded electrical outlets and faulty wires are a common cause of holiday fires. Avoid overloading outlets and plug only one high-wattage into each outlet at a time. 

Keep natural trees fresh by watering daily. Dry trees are a serious fire hazard.

Use battery-operated candles. Candles start almost half of home decoration fires (NFPA).

Keep combustibles at least three feet from heat sources. A heat sources that was too close to the decoration was a factor in half of home fires that began with decorations (NFPA).

Turn off, unplug, and extinguish all decorations when going to sleep or leaving the house. Be sure to turn any holiday lights off when you go out for the evening or when you go to bed. Try using an outdoor timer or smart outlet to switch lights on and off. Unattended candles are the cause of one in five home candle fires. Half of home fire deaths occur between the hours of 11pm and 7am (NFPA).

Check the fire extinguisher. And it’s a good idea to review how to use a fire extinguisher and make sure yours is accessible and unexpired.

A word about plants. Keep potentially poisonous plants – mistletoe, holly berries, Jerusalem cherry and amaryllis – away from children and pets.

Dean and Draper

Thank you for taking your time to check our safety tips.  We wish you and yours a safe holiday season filled with warmth and happiness.

Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  ContactUs.

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

Sources: National Safety Council, Safewise, Electrical Safety Foundation International, National Fire Protection Association