During the months of November and December, many people prepare for the holidays. However, without the proper precautions, a lot of injuries happen involving holiday decorations. An estimated 15,000 injuries occur nationwide throughout the two months. Since 2009, emergency departments have seen the numbers increase year by year. Before you “deck the halls” or take them down, see what safety measures you should be making.

Trees: Whether the tree be alive or artificial, there are a few ways to make sure you are safe with your choices. Many artificial trees are fire resistant. Look for a statement showing this protection feature. If selecting a fresh tree, check the freshness by looking for the following:

  • A fresh tree is green.
  • The needles are harder to pull off.
  • The trunk of the tree is sticky to the touch.
  • Bounce the tree on the ground. If needles fall, the tree is too dry.

All trees, no matter if real or artificial, should be kept away from open fires, radiators or any other types of fire hazards. Annually, Christmas trees account for around 300 fires, 10 of those ending in death.

Lights: Indoor and outdoor lights should only be used if an identifiable label shows that they have been tested for safety. These lights should also be checked for broken or cracked sockets, frayed wires or loose connections.

Before leaving your house or going to bed, be sure to turn off any lights on trees or other decorations. Homes that have an excessive amount of decorative lights, especially during the holidays, could have lights short and cause a fire.

Keeping lights away from small children should also be taken into consideration. Choking hazards and electricity dangers can be dangerous for any child.

Candles and Fires: Like any other open flame, keeping it away from decorations or paper during the holidays is an important factor. If lighting candles, be sure to place them in non-flammable holders for extra protection. Fires during the holidays can be caused by many different issues. Know to always be on your guard if lighting anything during the holidays.

Extra Holiday Safety Tips:

  • Keep matches, lighters and candles out of reach for children.
  • Have an emergency plan in place in case a fire breaks out in your home.
  • Never burn candles near Christmas trees. The dryer the tree, the more likely it is to burn easily.
  • Plan for safety. Look for and eliminate potential dangers to make for a safer holiday season.

This holiday season, we here at Tiano O’Dell want you to be safe. Taking the necessary precautions for holiday decorations, you can have a safe and secure place to celebrate the holidays. Here’s to you having a cautious and safe holiday this year.