Decorations are lovely to look at but can present a hazard when they’re not used with care.
At this festive time of year, it’s important to know how to avoid holiday decoration hazards. After all, the last thing you want to have to do is damage property, place family at risk or make an insurance claim when you should be celebrating.
Festive decorating can include everything from candles and lights to garland, ornaments and linens.
These additions to the normal decor of our homes can present some additional dangers if we aren’t careful. It’s very important to think our decorating through in order to avoid holiday decoration hazards. They can range from fires to electric shocks and from cuts, trips and falls to choking hazards.
These dangers apply to people of all ages, as well as to pets. Therefore, as the big day approaches, take a second look at the decorating choices you’ve made and whether you should rethink certain options.
Consider the following ways to avoid holiday decoration hazards in your home this year.
• Check wiring on all decorations that can be plugged in. This includes all lights – indoor and outdoor. That said, today’s Christmas decorations also involve noise making devices, inflatable lawn ornaments and other decorations that need to be plugged in. Don’t just assume that it’s fine because it works. Check all wiring for signs of wear or damage. Replace or dispose of any decorations with wiring that is less than perfect.
• Keep decorations out of indoor and outdoor pathways. It may seem pretty to place or scatter objects on or across places where people walk, but this habit risks slips and falls.
• Don’t cover stair railings. Yes, it’s tempting to wrap garland or lights around a stair rail, but if anyone should need to hold or grab the railing while on the stairs, it could lead to disaster. Wrapping things over the railing reduces the amount of space available to grab and can even make a fall more dangerous if someone grabs onto the garland or lights instead of the railing itself. This is one of the leading causes of injury on stairs during the holiday season.
• Use electrical cords safely. Don’t plug more than three devices into any one extension cord. Don’t run electrical cords under rugs, towels, blankets or any other flammable materials. Turn off all indoor decorative lights before you leave the house or go to bed at night.
• Never leave any burning candles unattended or near where children or pets are playing.
• Keep all heating vents uncovered by decorations as the added heat can present serious holiday decoration hazards.