Safety is always a concern, but especially during the holidays. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission statistics show 5 people died in 2018 from problems associated with holiday decorating.
Additionally, approximately 200 people end up in the emergency room every day during the three months surrounding the holiday season.
Practice Ladder Safety
The CPSC reports most holiday-related injuries involved falls. People want to hang lights and decorations and don’t always use a ladder or use it improperly.
Always have someone else working with you when hanging Christmas lights or decorations from a ladder or roof. Ensure the ladder is on a secure and level footing before climbing. Space the base of the ladder one foot away from the wall for every four feet it reaches up.
Never use a box, garbage can, or chair to reach heights. They can give way or move and cause a fall.
Choose Lights Wisely
Unfortunately, fire incidence during the holidays is also very high. The National Fire Protection Association reports an average of 780 home structure fires occur annually due to decorations, excluding Christmas trees! These fires caused about $12 million in direct property damage.
If you’ve been hanging the same sets of lights for years, it may be time to upgrade. Traditional lights consume more energy and burn hotter than LED lights. Always check lights for frayed wires, cracked sockets, or loose connections and then repair or replace damaged sets.
Also ensure new lights have been tested by a reputable lab such as UL or ETL. Use hooks or insulated staples to hang and avoid tacks or nails that can pierce the insulation to create a potential fire hazard. Don’t hang lights near overhead power wires either.
Care for Live Trees
Live trees are highly flammable, so keep them away from heaters and fireplaces. Never decorate a tree with candles and water your tree regularly to keep it hydrated and to prevent needle drop.
Don’t leave lights burning when you head to bed. Switch off the tree, outdoor, and indoor lights or put them on a timer to shut them off automatically.
Care for Extension Cords
Extension cords are a necessity in most homes during the holiday season. Place them in low-traffic areas to avoid damaging the cords or tripping people.
Never use indoor extensions cords for outdoor applications. If possible, run outdoor lights and inflatable decorations to a ground fault interrupter circuit. If a short occurs for any reason, the circuit automatically trips.
Don’t Forget Homeowner’s Insurance
Even when you take precautions, unexpected events can occur. Review your Rhode Island home insurance coverage with an independent insurance agency like ours. We can help ensure you’re financially protected from disaster. We want you to enjoy peace of mind for a safe and happy holiday and insurance is designed to protect your valuable assets.