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Holiday Decorating Disasters to Avoid

It’s the time of year when houses transform into displays of loving holiday crafts and beautiful decorations. While many enjoy decorating for the holidays, it’s important to consider what you display and how you display it, to keep loved ones and guests safe. The following are a few thoughts to keep in mind as you warm up your home with beautiful displays for the holidays.

If you purchase a live tree, examine its needles. A fresh tree has green needles that resist being pulled off from the branches or bending between fingers. The tree trunk bottom will be sticky with resin. If you purchase an artificial tree, look for “fire resistant” on its label. Avoid displaying trees next to fireplaces, heating ducts, or radiators. Be sure to keep them out of the way from high foot-traffic areas and doorways. Delicate and highly breakable ornaments should be toward the top of the tree, making it more difficult for little hands or tiny paws to get to them. Unbreakable and non-toxic ornaments should hang on the lower part of the tree.

Do you plan to decorate with lights? Make sure your lights pass the UL test. The Underwriters Lab or another established testing facility checks light safety and marks the tested lights with a holographic UL label. A red label means lights can be used indoors and outdoors, and a green label means indoor use only. Lights should be plugged into a ground fault circuit interrupter outlet to avoid sparks. A ground fault circuit interrupter will shut down the circuit if there is overcurrent. Examine all electronics and light sockets to see if they are damaged. Cracked sockets or frayed or bare wires pose a fire or shock hazard.

Everyone would like to enjoy a happy and safe holiday season, so make sure you take the time to follow these simple tips on decorating to keep your loved ones, furry and human, safe.