With the holiday season in full swing, many Posts are ready to decorate. Help make sure your holidays are jolly and bright by remembering these holiday decorating safety tips. Whether your Post decorates a small Charlie Brown tree or goes full Chevy Chase, keep your Post’s property and members safe with these tips:

Indoor Holiday Decorating Safety Tips

  • Remember when shopping for live trees that it’s important to check for freshness, as a fresh tree will last longer and be less of a fire hazard.
  • Know how to choose a fresh tree. Look for green color, needles that are hard to pluck and bend instead of break, and trunks with sticky resin at the base.
  • Test a tree for a freshness with a gentle shake or tap. A fresh tree won’t produce a shower of needles, a dry one will.
  • Remember heated rooms can rapidly dry out live trees creating a fire hazard, so always check and fill the tree stand with water each day.
  • Be sure to use artificial trees that come with a fire resistant label. If the label is absent from the tree your considering, consider purchasing a different one.
  • Place both artificial and real trees at least 3 feet away from all heat sources.
  • Use battery-operated candles in place of traditional candles.
  • Inspect each and every electrical decoration carefully before using. If anything is cracked, damaged or frayed, replace it.
  • Use LED lights, rather than incandescent bulbs that generate heat and require higher electrical power.
  • Note the wattage and amps on lights and decorations and calculate the totals for each electrical outlet circuit you use. Make sure not to overload your outlets.
  • Use extension cords safely. Avoid stringing cords together or overloading them and make sure cords are securely fastened to avoid becoming a trip hazard.

Outdoor Holiday Decorating Safety Tips

  • Ensure all extension cords and electrical decorations you use outside indicate on the label that they are safe for outdoor use.
  • Keep extension cords and light strings clear of snow and standing water.
  • Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees or buildings to protect them from wind damage.
  • Take care when hanging light cords, as it can be easy to damage their insulation.
  • Remember if you are using a ladder to use the right height ladder for the job, place it on level ground and have someone hold the base of the ladder to steady it.
  • Consider hiring a professional to hang lights if your Post has a high roof.
  • Make sure to turn off all electrical decorations before leaving your Post.

Even if your Post takes every safety precaution, there is a chance your Post could incur damage. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates there are more than 15,000 decorating mishaps each holiday season. The right insurance protection can help protect your Post from the risk.

Learn how Property Insurance from Lockton Affinity can protect your Post and its belongings year-round.