Avoiding a decorating disaster this holiday season

Keep safety in mind this holiday season
Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 9:23 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - While your holiday decorations may already be put up, are they as safe as can be?

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 18,000 people go to the ER for injuries caused by holiday décor every year. About 7,000 of those injuries happen after the holidays.

It can be anything from falling off a ladder while putting up or taking down lights, to your tree catching on fire. But there are some steps you can do to prevent a decorating disaster.

If you still need to hang those lights, make sure you check each set of lights and look for any bare wires or loose connections. Make sure to keep those decorations weather-protected.

Northwest Fire District Capt. Jeff Hamblen said, “We want to first make sure any decorations we’re using outside are intended for outdoor use. Check your strings and lights and make sure they’re for outdoor use, and then go through and make sure there’s no frayed wires or broken bulbs or anything like that. Make sure they’re plugged into a protected outlet that has waterproof covers on it and make sure that your blow-up inflatables are staked down to make sure the wind doesn’t take them into your neighbor’s yard.”

Use clips instead of nails, so you can avoid getting electrocuted or being a fire hazard, and don’t connect more than three strands of lights into one outlet.

Inside your home, keep candles at least a foot away from anything that burns.

You should also want to make sure you’re keeping those trees safe.

If you have an artificial tree, look at the fire-resistant label and keep it away from sources of heat.

For those who have a real tree, make sure you keep it watered.

Firefighters suggest getting rid of trees either right after Christmas or when the tree starts dying. A good way to tell is when the needles on the branches start to get hard and fall off easily.