0239 – Holiday Decoration Safety | Safety Solutions Academy

The “Holidays” are the most wonderful time of the year aren’t they. The time from Thanksgiving to New Years day is full of family, fun, snow, food, memories and all kinds of wonderful things. What we don’t want it to be full of is tragedy. The way we celebrate the Holidays could lead to tragedy if we aren’t careful. We need to be mindful of our choices to make sure that our festive mood and the decorations that enhance it don’t lead to trouble. Today we will take a look at Holiday Decoration Safety considerations.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

The Christmas season really is a wonderful time.  There is one holiday Decoration Safety issue that really pops its head up at my house each year though.  Our Christmas tree.  I grew up in a house that had artificial trees and my wife comes from a home of the real thing.  I see the merits of a real tree, but I am keenly aware of the draw backs too.  So we have struck a deal.  A fresh cut tree goes up in the beginning of Dec and comes down by the 27th.

Holiday Decoration Safety – Christmas Trees

  • Christmas trees cause more than 250 structure fires a year.
  • 33% of Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems.
  • 20% of Christmas tree fires are caused by heat sources.

It is pretty clear that if you are putting up a Christmas tree you need to strongly consider Holiday Decoration Safety.  The two big issues are electrical problems and heat sources.  The consequences are severe.


Holiday Decoration SafetyChristmas Tree Safety Tips

  • If you are selecting a real tree, purchase one that is fresh cut.  Better yet, make a trip out to the country to a tree farm and select a tree that you can cut yourself.  When you cut it yourself, there is no question how long that tree has been off the stump.
  • Locate your tree away from heat sources.  Heat dries out the tree more quickly so locate the tree away from vents.  Even worse, unconventional sources can ignite the tree leading to disaster.
  • Keep your tree watered.
  • If you are using an artificial tree make sure that it is UL listed and meets fire retardant standards.
  • Light your tree with UL listed lights.  Use the appropriate extension cords and don’t overload your electrical sockets.
  • Selecting new LED lights can help to reduce the electrical load as well as your electrical bill!
  • Replace your lights every five years to make sure that your lights are in good condition and technologically up to date.
  • After Christmas it is time for the tree to come down.  Don’t delay, especially with a Real tree.

The National Fire Protection Agency  has these tips for keeping your Christmas Tree display as safe as possible. 

Holiday Decoration Safety Candles

15,000 fires a year are started with candles, most of those in the bedroom.  I guess I’m not a romantic as I should be…

  • Don’t burn candles on or near flamable items
  • Don’t allow candles to burn unattended
  • Keep candles away from children
  • Follow manufacturers directions for container, wick trimming and burn time.
  • Extinguish completely when finished
  • Watch out for hot wax


The stockings were hung by the chimney with care huh?  Did you remember to move the stockings before you started that fire in the fire place?  Same goes for greens etc.


  • Use only approved lights
  • Inspect your lights for wear or damage
  • Use lights for propper application
  • Don’t overload strings or sockets

Christmas Trees and Other Greens

  • The Life of your tree is limited to 2 weeks – 1 month
  • Choosing the Tree
  • Location of Tree
  • Securing the Tree
    • Quality Tree Stand
    • Guy Lines
  • Water
  • Lights
  • Decorations
  • Disposal

Remember that the Holiday Season is intended to be a joyous time.  It takes some planning to make sure it stays that way.   However, the  consequences of not taking those precautions are severe and the precautions themselves are fairly simple.  This means that there is really no reason not to consider Holiday decoration safety when you get ready to start your Holiday season.

Happy Holidays to you and yours!


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