Holiday decorating safety
Nonprofit & Human Service Organizations, Senior Living Communities, Schools, Camps, Houses of Worship 11/19/2021
Holiday decorations certainly add cheer to some of the colder months of the year, and your organization may want to join the festive mood. But there can be dangers associated with decorating. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 200 decorating-related injuries occur each day during the holiday season. About half of those incidents involve falls.
Church Mutual wants to remind you this holiday season to keep safety in mind as your staff or volunteers decorate your facility. Here are some guidelines to follow:
- Protect your tree from fire. If you plan to use a Christmas tree, it could become a big fire hazard if you are not careful. Keep live trees adequately watered, because dry evergreens can ignite quickly if exposed to a flame. Artificial trees should have a “fire resistant label.”
- If you choose to use candles, only burn them when someone is present in the same room. These days, many facilities use LED lights that look and feel like traditional wax candles. But if you still want to burn traditional candles, place them far away from flammable items and do not burn them near your tree. Some cultures have a tradition of using real candles on trees, but that can turn deadly.
- Check all your lights before hanging them. Make sure bulbs are in good working order and wires aren’t frayed. If you use damaged lights on your building, you are leaving yourself open to the possibility of an electrical fire.
- Make sure anyone using a ladder to hang lights and other decorations knows how to do it safely. Falls result in more emergency room visits during the holidays than any other type of injury. When using a ladder, have a spotter with you at all times, and do not extend your body farther than parallel with the ladder.
- Use Christmas light clips to secure your lights. Avoid nails or screws, because they can puncture the lights’ wires and potentially deliver an electrical shock to the person hanging them or cause a fire.
- Remember to turn your lights off. While holiday lights are very pretty, you don’t need to leave them on all night. Use a timer to turn them on and off automatically at a certain time every evening, or use a wireless control to turn off the lights via an app on your phone.
For safety information, resources and more focused on keeping your people and property safe all year long, visit churchmutual.com/safety.