Most people start putting up their decorations around Thanksgiving to prepare for the holidays ahead. Unfortunately, there are thousands of injuries from holiday decorating every year. Avoid an accident by following these tips for decorating for the holidays safely.

1. Decorating for the Holidays Safely When Hanging Lights

Many neighborhoods get into the holiday spirit by hanging elaborate string light displays on their homes and in their yard. While this makes for a festive atmosphere, people need to be cautious when hanging their lights.Between the risk of falling off a ladder and being electrocuted, it’s important to pay attention to hazards when performing this task.

Use a sturdy ladder and place it on solid ground. Make sure someone is at home that can assist you, if needed. Before you start, inspect the strings of lights you are using for broken bulbs and frayed wires. When decorating for the holidays safely, it’s important to only use outdoor lights if you are hanging them outside.

2. Christmas Tree Safety

Most folks choose to get a real Christmas tree. When you go to pick out your tree, look for one that has been freshly cut and isn’t dried out. You can test this by bending one of the branches to see if it snaps, and shaking it to see if needles fall off easily.

A dry tree is more likely to be a fire hazard. Once the tree is home, be sure to keep it hydrated. A hydrated tree is not only safer, but it will also make less of a mess in your home.

3. Opt for Electric Candles

Candles are a must-have for a cozy home during the holidays. Luckily, you can now find inexpensive battery-powered candles that have a realistic flicker so you don’t have to worry about the fire hazard. Some even have a remote control with a dimmer and timer so you can place them up high. No one will ever know they aren’t real. These candles are a smart thing to invest in when decorating for the holidays safely.

4. Fireplace Safety

If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace, you will surely be using it during the holidays. But it can be dangerous if you haven’t prepared it first.

Make sure the fireplace is clean of debris before you start a fire. Close the doors of the fireplace so embers can’t jump out into your living room. If you haven’t had your chimney swept or inspected yet, now is the time to do so.

5. Shut Everything Off When You Go to Bed

You may be exhausted after having friends and family over during the holidays, but before you fall into bed, remember to turn everything off. Make sure the lights outside and on the tree are unplugged, the fire in the fireplace is out, and the oven and stove are turned off. It is worth it to be diligent about this to protect your home and family.

Highland Home Inspections wishes the Greater Boston area a happy holiday season!