You want to wake up to a decorated tree and hot coffee on Christmas morning. You don’t want to spend the best morning of the season in the Emergency Room or laid up in bed. Avoid Christmas decorating disasters with a few safety tips. Here is the complete guide to Christmas decorating safety.

  1. Wash your hands – Please, for the love of everyone else, wash your hands. Christmas is the time when people bake cookies and cook large feasts for family, colleagues, and friends. Don’t pass along germs. As a matter of fact, wash everything. Wash baking and cooking utensils, disinfect your cooking and baking surfaces, wash all produce, and keep animals out of the area you are cooking in. 

  2. Use a ladder – You will be trimming the tree and hanging lights. Don’t try to score a gymnastics medal, too. You won’t win. If you are going to be climbing to the eaves, hanging decorations and lights from outside trees, or putting the top on your tree, use a ladder. Don’t climb on the side of the house, stand on tables and chairs, or balance strange objects to gain height. 

  3. Inspect decorations – Inspect your decorations and lights. Look for sharp and broken edges, exposed wiring, and rogue clips and hooks. You don’t want to prick your finger, step on glass, or get electrocuted by exposed wired. 

  4. Avoid fire – Identify potential fire dangers. The risk for fire lurks in many places across your home. Diligence will save a life and your home. Do not burn paper in your fireplace or hang decorations in the front. If you burn candles, never leave them unattended. Inspect lights for frayed wires, loose connections, broken sockets, and shorts. You must also keep your tree hydrated so that it does not become kindling, and at night, unplug the lights so they don’t ignite a fire. 

  5. Get rid of the fake stuff – Do not leave fake food around your home; it looks too yummy to your pets and your children. If you do have fake fruit, fragrant decorations, or attractive trimmings, make sure they are out of reach. Don’t leave them where they invite pets and kids to chew on them. 

  6. Maintain chimney and fireplace – Always get your chimney cleaned and your fireplace inspected at the beginning of the season. The risk for fire and carbon monoxide poisoning is too great when you let it slide. You must also have your furnace inspected by a professional and the filter replaced.

  7. Care for cords – This year, don’t be a Clark Griswold. Use more extension cords. Don’t overload them with multiple plugs, decorations, and blow-up yard displays. Never connect one extension cord into the other. Make sure cords in the home are hidden and covered so that kids and pets don’t play with them. If the cords are outside, make sure they are off the ground and that unused plug-ins are not exposed. 

This Christmas season, ask for help. It is better to have a safe season than a dangerous one.