Decorating Safety Tips for the Holidays
There are plenty of great holiday decorating tips online and at stores, but not many tell you how to do it safely. As decorating season is upon us, it’s important to think twice to make sure you aren’t injured before you get together with family and friends, and you also don’t do anything that could injure them.
Here are some tips to make sure your holidays are as festive and injury-free as can be.
1. Christmas Trees
If you’re opting for a live tree this year, make sure to choose one that has plenty of life left in it and keep it well hydrated. A dry tree can pose a fire hazard, as can a tree that is placed too close to heat sources in your home. Also, think about injuries you could sustain from lifting and placing that tree, and make sure you have plenty of help. Choose a tree base that is secure and will minimize the chances of the tree falling over if a small child or pet brushes against or pulls on the tree. Check decorative tree lights for cord damage, broken bulbs, and other hazards. Unplug your lights at night and when you are away from home.
If you buy a fake tree, make sure it is labeled “fire resistant.”
Regardless of what type of tree you buy, make sure to use a ladder and an assistant to help you decorate to minimize your chances of a fall. Ornaments should be unbreakable and not pose any choking hazard to small children or pets.
2. Other Plant Decor
Do some research before purchasing plants for your holiday decor. It’s actually surprising how many plants pose a poison threat to children, pets, and even adults. For example:
• Holly has prickles on its leaves that can harm children and pets. The berries also present a hazard; they are poisonous and look appealing to eat.
• Mistletoe is an evergreen parasite that can be poisonous. There are many different types of mistletoe, but most have poisonous leaves and berries. This includes the European mistletoe and the North American mistletoe.
• English Ivy can cause severe skin inflammation when handled, followed by blisters. It’s important not to allow your skin to come in contact with this plant. It is also poisonous when ingested.
• Yew is also poisonous to pets and people, and should be avoided as a decoration for this reason. The chemicals in the plant can cause an irregular heartbeat and breathing problems.
• Poinsettias aren’t deadly as once thought, but they are still poisonous and can present a safety risk to pets.
3. Outside Decor
Many people string lights and put up other festive decorations during the holidays. The same safety rules apply to outside lights as they do for inside lights. For example, never use electric cords that are frayed or otherwise damaged. Use a ladder and an assistant to help you string lights. You should also have an ice-melting salt available if you live in a snowy region, so your visitors can enjoy your decorations without slipping and falling.
Have a great holiday season and stay safe, from our family to yours!