Holiday Safety: Decorating and Lighting

Safety Choices for Decorating

Mid October to after New Years is marked by an increase in home fires caused by holiday decorations. The month of December sees the highest incidence of candle-related fires, and the most common cause of Christmas tree fires is arcing electrical cords and fixtures. The following is a list of some things to watch out for as you decorate for the holidays:

  • Whenever possible, choose only those decorations that are made with flame-resistant, flame-retardant or non-combustible materials.
  • Purchase only lights and electrical decorations which bear the name of an independent testing laboratory (i.e.: UL) and follow the manufacturer’s directions for installation and usage.
  • Inspect all electrical decorations before using for damaged cords, plugs or receptacles. Replace these lights periodically (outdoor light strings every three years and indoor lights every five years). Never overload extensions cords or bypass safety fuses.
  • Mount light strings using only the clips or holders designed for that purpose.
  • Turn off all light strings and decorations before leaving the house or going to bed.
  • Make sure all decorations are kept clear of any heat source such as heaters or stoves.
  • Keep everything at least three feet away from any type of heat producing appliance.
  • Keep children and pets away from electrical decorations.

By taking the time to plan out your holiday decorating ideas, and using the above tips as a guide you can insure that your holiday will be bright, festive and safe. For more information on fire safe decorating, or for any questions on fire safety, can call the Liberty Fire Department at 816.439.4310.