Holiday Decoration Safety Tips

A woman in a hard hat attempting to decorate for the holidays.Tis’ the season to be jolly, eat holiday cookies, spend time with family and friends and add holiday décor to our homes with lights, trees, candles, and ornaments galore.

What we sometimes fail to think about is that many of these decorations can be extreme fire hazards or choking hazards for children and pets.

The last thing on our holiday wish list is having a preventable accident take the enjoyment out of our holidays.

Between 2009 and 2013, according to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. Fire Departments report that they annually average  860 home structure fires that began with holiday decorations, and an additional 210 home structure fires that began with Christmas trees.

The Electrical Safety Foundation International provides the following safety tips to ensure that the only fires you encounter this holiday season are the ones keeping your toes toasty in the fireplace.

So whether you’re excitedly preparing for Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa please take a few minutes to read our decorating safety tips.


Keep all candles away from other decorations – try to place them in an area of your home where they cannot easily be knocked over or catch other items on fire.


Fireplaces are one area a fire could pop-up, be sure to keep all holiday decorations away from the fireplace.  Decorations like stockings or garland are prime suspects.   Also, make sure that the flue is open and there is some type of screen between you and the fire.

Cooking for the holidays?  Be sure you don’t leave any cooking equipment unattended. If you have to leave the room, turn off the burners.

If you’re having house guests for the holidays, don’t let children or pets play too close to a space heater. Don’t leave the space heater unattended, and be sure to turn it off when you’re leaving the room or going to sleep.


Before hanging lights inside or outside of your home, check each string of lights for cracked sockets, frayed wire, or loose connections. Damaged sets like this could start a fire once turned on. Also, turn off all lights on trees, your house, or other decorations before you go to bed.

And those dreaded extension cords.  They are everywhere over the holiday season.  Here are a few pointers; don’t string multiple extension cords together, don’t run electrical cords under rugs, carpets or furniture and be sure to read the labels, extension cords for outdoor decorations should be labeled “for outdoor use.”


Make sure to place all trees away from fireplaces, heaters, or any other source of heat.  Try to keep your tree from getting too dry by watering it daily.  Once it begins to dry up and drop needles, dispose of it.  When a tree dries out from heat it can become highly flammable.

Artificial trees are known to be fire-resistant, but if you are buying one look for a warning statement specifying this protection.


If your home is filled with children or pets, be aware of the choking hazards that come with decorations.

It only takes a second for you to turn your head and for someone to grab a decoration and start choking. So, when placing these small holiday decorations around your home, try to keep them out of reach of children and pets.

Most importantly, something that applies year-round, not just during the holiday season, be sure to have fire and carbon monoxide detectors/alarms on every level of your home, in every bedroom, and outside every sleeping area. Test the alarms once a month, and change the batteries annually.

Follow these simple steps to a happy, healthy and safe holiday season.

If you’re still looking for your dream home to fill with guests over the holidays, contact one of our dedicated mortgage advisors here at Down Payment Assistance of Arizona today.  We are here to help you realize your dreams of a new home in 2017.

The Certo Team
55 N. Arizona Place
Suite #103
Chandler, AZ 85225

Contact a licensed housing specialist now! 602-429-6789