Holiday Tip of the Day: Decorating Safety

By: Rick Pietzak

Trees, lights and decorations: They are all what makes this season bright! But they also pose a fire hazard if proper care isn’t followed, according to experts at UPMC Mercy Trauma and Burn Center.

Consider these safety tips when you are decorating this holiday season:

  • Place Christmas trees away from heat sources, such as radiators or fireplaces. If possible, place it near a smoke detector.
  • Aluminum and metallic trees should not be decorated with lights. They may conduct electricity and cause electrocution.
  • Use flame-resistant ornaments.
  • Never decorate trees with unlit candles or other flammable decorations.
  • Always inspect your lights before use for damage and frayed wires. Replace them with new ones even if there is just a little damage. Some retailers now offer trade-in credits toward new lights during the holiday season.
  • Make sure lights are marked with the UL Seal (Underwriters Laboratories Inc., an independent, not-for-profit product safety testing and certification organization).
  • Always check indoor and outdoor wires, bulbs, electrical plugs and sockets before using.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets or extension cords.
  • Do not run electrical cords under rugs or carpets. Cords can fray and cause a fire.
  • Turn off holiday lights when leaving the house or going to bed.