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Decorating Safely on the Holidays

There’s nothing worse than being injured doing the holidays, especially if you were just trying to add a little cheer. Putting up decorations isn’t usually thought of as risky, but countless people get hurt doing just that every year – and we don’t just mean falling off of ladders. Here are a few ways you can spread joy and stay safe when putting of your decorations.

If you think about a holiday decorating injury, you probably do think of ladders first. Well, it is pretty common, so take extra precautions. Make sure your ladder is stable and remember to avoid power lines. If you’re climbing one, let someone else know so they can check on you; or better yet, have someone down there keeping the ladder still.

The electrical components can also be pretty hazardous during the holidays, both inside and out. It’s a good tip to plug in your lights before hanging them up to make sure they all work – so while you’re at it, check for sockets missing a bulb and for frayed wires (especially if you like the old-school style of lights). Use special clips to hang your lights on your house. They’re very inexpensive; and they snap right onto the gutter, making an easy hook for the wire.

This is a good way to avoid fraying from a nail; or, worse yet, driving a nail right through the cord. Last, keep cords out of the way to passersby, and use a timer so they’re not on for too many hours. Be sure to keep your extension cords and power strips away from the elements, and make sure they are powerful enough to properly support the electricity of the lights. Use outlets that are GFCI protected wherever possible, to help prevent shocks.

Indoors, you want to follow some of the same guidelines – especially preventing tripping hazards, using heavy duty power strips and checking your wires. Keep any lights away from fabric, such as curtains or upholstery, to prevent overheating and fire. If you use specialty bulbs in trees (such as bubble lights), make sure you don’t put more than two on each strand. Check the box if you are not sure, to find safety regulations. Also, it doesn’t hurt to have a timer for your tree as well, particularly if you go for a real one.

Make sure your kids are safe with safety caps on outlets, and of course, avoid any decorations that are sharp or have small, removable parts. Last, but not least, make sure your neighbors are living up to the same standards of safety as you are. There’s nothing like the carelessness of one person to ruin the holidays of others; so, if you see something dangerous or have been hurt by over-the-top decorations of others, call Levine and Wiss. Have a safe and happy holiday from all of us!