Security and Safety

Stay Safe While Decorating for the Holidays

By Jillian Kring 12.13.21

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Suddenly, weekend activities include pulling decorations out of storage, tree shopping, and hanging beautiful twinkling lights. In order to keep this the most wonderful time of the year, it is important to be mindful of holiday safety. So, before it begins to look a lot like Christmas at your house, make sure you’re familiar with these holiday- decorating safety practices.

Follow this guide for a mishap-free decoration day.

Hanging Lights and Outdoor Decorations

Examine your outdoor environment. It’s not wise to decorate outdoors in inclement weather or with ice and snow on the ground. Level, firm ground and dry conditions are needed for ladder stability. If there is active precipitation, it’s easy to slip and fall.

Practice rooftop and ladder safety. Always have firm footing, and make sure to wear slip-resistant footwear and avoid loose-fitting clothing that could catch on something. Set your ladder at a 75-degree angle away from power lines and be sure to choose one that extends 3 feet over the roofline. Keep two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand on the ladder at all times. Always have someone with you while using a ladder to ensure stability. Check all lights for integrity before hanging.

Decorating With Care

Assess your physical ability. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. Be honest with yourself about your own physical limitations, since falling is one of the leading causes of accidental death. In addition, avoid ladders if you have balance problems or are on blood thinners. If you are not comfortable asking family or friends to help, then consider hiring someone to hang lights and complete the more dangerous tasks.

Lift with your legs. When lifting heavy boxes or objects, bend at the knees and keep your back flat. This position will help keep your back safe from injury. Keep heavy objects close to your body to reduce muscle strain.

Be careful in the attic. If you keep holiday decorations in the attic, make sure the attic is stable and safe before retrieving heavy boxes. Attics should be reinforced with plywood between studs so you do not fall through and injure yourself. Always have another person nearby in case you need help or an accident occurs.

Bringing in Holiday Trees and Plants

Let yourself and your tree rest. Allowing your tree time to rest outside before taking it inside and placing it in a tree stand is essential. Leave your new tree in a bucket of water outside for at least a day. Hose off the tree, which will remove pests and keep the needles moist to reduce a potential fire hazard.

A nourished tree is a happy tree. After your tree has acclimated outside, it’s safe to bring it into your house. Carefully cut 2 inches off the trunk, making sure you have a buddy to spot you while you’re using the saw. The average tree requires half a gallon of water each day, so make sure to hydrate it accordingly. When erecting the tree, take care — this is a two-person job. One person should hold the tree while the other secures it in its stand.

Be mindful of festive plants. One overlooked hazard of the holidays is that some festive plants are poisonous. More toxic plants such as mistletoe and holly berries should be well out of reach of children and pets. Christmas trees are mildly poisonous to pets and can cause digestive issues if consumed, so just be mindful of falling needles, low-hanging branches, and curious pets.

Stay Safe and Enjoy the Season

Remember, the most important gift you can give yourself and your family this holiday season is your health and safety. Be mindful of your physical limitations, assess your environment for hazards, take your time, and ask for help. Have a safe and happy holiday!

Follow these tips to keep your home safe when you deck your halls.

© 2021 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance