Time to Decorate! How to stay safe while preparing for the holidays

Published: Tuesday, November 24, 2020

As you plan for the holiday season, it is important to think about ways to keep yourself and others safe. Here are some tips to remember as you get ready for the holidays.

Ladder Safety Tips

Many people start the holidays by decorating their homes, and that’s where safety starts. According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 5,800 people each year are treated in emergency departments for holiday decorating or related activities —  and more than half of those injuries were caused by falls from ladders or roofs while decorating. As you decorate your home this year, be sure to follow these ladder safety tips: 

  • Don’t use a ladder alone. Have someone hold the ladder. 
  • Do not use chairs, tables or anything with wheels to hang decorations. 
  • Make sure the ladder is secure and on level ground before climbing.

Tree-Decorating Tips

Many people also put up a Christmas tree as part of their holiday traditions. Unfortunately, this increases the risk for a home fire, and more than 25% of home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems. As you put up your Christmas tree, remember these safety tips:    

  • Keep breakable ornaments out of reach. 
  • Check holiday lights for exposed or frayed wires, loose connections or broken sockets. 
  • Turn off decorative lights before leaving home or going to sleep 
  • Water natural trees regularly. When needles are dry, they can catch fire easily. 
  • Keep candles on a stable surface, out of reach of children or pets, and away from flammable objects. 
  • Always blow candles out before you leave the room or go to sleep.  
  • Check smoke alarms. Make sure there is a working smoke alarm on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and near sleeping areas. Review your fire escape plan with family members and guests. 

Holiday Shopping Tips

Holiday shopping brings crowds every year, making shopping center parking lots busier than usual. As you shop for gifts for your family and friends this year, follow these safety tips: 

  • Keep an eye out for distracted pedestrians and drivers who may not be paying attention to you, especially when backing out of parking spaces. 
  • Avoid distractions while driving. Commit to keeping your phone down. No text message is worth the risk. 
  • Park in a well-lit area  

Cooking Tips

This time of year brings families together, typically around a home-cooked meals. Holiday dinners are a time for laugher, love and food, but can sometimes create dangerous situations. As you prepare your holiday dinner, remember these safety tips: 

  • Wash your hands frequently. 
  • Cook food thoroughly, using a food thermometer.  
  • Do not leave stove burners or oven unattended.  
  • Keep the kids occupied and away from the kitchen – too many hot appliances and dangerous utensils.  

Learn More

We hope you have a happy and safe holiday season! For more information on trauma prevention, visit www.nghs.com/trauma