Get covered in minutes!

Car

Property

Home > Blog > Decorating for the Holidays

Man and woman decorating the outside of their house with Christmas decorations.

Decorating for the Holidays

Learn how to prevent 3 of the most common mishaps: fires, falls and electric shock.

Decorations put the festive in our end-of-the-year celebrations. Don’t let unintentional mishaps dampen your merriment and hamper your celebrations.

Fires:
Did you know that candles start almost half of ALL home decoration fires? One out of three candle fires start in a bedroom. What about Christmas trees you might ask? According to the U.S. Fire Administration, one out of every three home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems, while one out of every four home Christmas tree fire is a result of placing a tree too close to a heat source. Additionally, holiday lights are a renowned fire starting source.

What to know:

  • Before decorating your tree, double-check lights for frayed or cracked wires.
  • Make sure there is a bulb in each light socket and discard and replace damaged strands.
  • Holiday decorations should be flame retardant or non-flammable.
  • Place all decorations away from heat sources.
  • Rethink burning gift wrap. It can cause sparks and case a home fire. Reuse or recycle are better options!

Falls:
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more people are injured by falling off of ladders during holiday months than at any other time of the year. On average, over 5,800 Americans are treated for fall related injuries associated with placing holiday decorations.  Forty-three percent of the injuries are caused by ladder accidents.

Avoid Falls by:

  • Using proper climbing tools, such as ladders or stools.
  • Make sure your ladder is on a stable surface before stepping onto it.
  • Make holiday decorating festive by working with others and ask someone to hold the ladder for you.
  • An alternative injury prevention is to hire professionals to hang and remove your holiday decorations.

Electric Shock:
Electric shock is one of the most common injuries that occurs between Thanksgiving and the New Year.  A Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) study found that an average of 5,000 people are treated for electric shock caused by indoor and outdoor decorations each holiday season.

Stay safe when decorating with lights and inflatables!

  • If possible, outdoor lights and inflatable decorations should be plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI).
  • Use authentic extension cords that have an approval label from an independent agency.
  • Never string together more than three strands of lights together; plug the lights into an extension cord before plugging into an outlet.
  • Conserve energy safely by using a timer to turn lights on or off.
  • Electricity and water do not mix. Never touch electrical wiring when you are wet.

These simple tips can help ensure your holidays are truly a celebration!

https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/holiday.html

https://www.esfi.org/resource/holiday-decorating-safety-342

http://www.meridianintegrativewellness.com/jacksonville-car-accident-chiropractor/5-common-holiday-accidents-injuries-avoid/

Please Note:This content is not intended to describe any specific coverage offered by MAPFRE Insurance. No coverage is provided, bound or guaranteed by this article. Available coverages, credits and discounts vary from state to state and are subject to eligibility criteria and policy terms/conditions, which will control in the event of conflict between this article and your insurance policy. For information about your policy, please review your individual policy contract and speak with your insurance representative.

MAPFRE Insurance® is a brand and service mark of MAPFRE U.S.A. Corp. and its affiliates, American Commerce Insurance CompanySM (Cal. COA 4928-8); Citation Insurance CompanySM; The Commerce Insurance CompanySM; Commerce West Insurance CompanySM (Cal. COA 1372-2); and MAPFRE Insurance CompanySM (Cal. COA 3039-5). Not all products available in all states.

Articles

Electric Blanket and Heating Pad Safety

Electric Blanket and Heating Pad Safety

Whether you use an electric blanket to snuggle up on a cold winter night or need a heating pad to soothe an ailment, both personal heating appliances have the potential to cause fires if not used properly. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation, electric...

read more
Home Generator Safety

Home Generator Safety

If a storm causes a power outage at your home, you may turn to a generator for help. Although generators can provide a temporary source of power, they can also be dangerous if not used properly. Before using any type of generator, the manufacturer's instructions...

read more
Preparing for Winter Storms

Preparing for Winter Storms

If you live in an area of the United States prone to cold weather and tend to get winter storms, you are most likely used to snow, ice, sleet, freezing rain, and flooding. You may have also had to deal with nor'easters and blizzards on occasion. According to the...

read more