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Holiday Decorating Safety

As the days grow shorter and the nights darker, this is a time of year when houses on every block begin to fill with lights, wreaths, and more. As the decorations go up, so too the household risks of injuries and accidents. Whether it is standing on ladders to hang holly boughs or hanging stockings over the fire with care, seasonal decorations can become a risk to household safety if they aren’t set up properly. To help every family in Richmond stay safe this year, Grand Parkway Emergency Center wants to discuss some of the best safety tips to keep your holiday decorating just as safe as it is festive.

Trees & Center Pieces

Some of the most iconic seasonal decorations are dominated by green branches and lighting candles. Trees, whether real or artificial, menorahs, and kinaras can be great symbols of holiday cheer, and can also be the most important decorations to monitor.

When placing a holiday tree, you need to make sure you aren’t creating any accidental fire hazards. Be sure that your tree is kept away from fireplaces and when you are arranging their lights, try to efficiently manage the plugs. You don’t want to have a dozen electrical plugs all crammed into one place and hidden under tree skirts.

Instead, try to plan out where you can place your tree that has a safe space for electrical outlets. Utilizing power strips to keep your plugs consolidated and neat is a good idea and making sure that your holiday lights are not on all night unattended is also safe. If there is a chance that your electrical plugs could be covered with gifts or fabric, you will need to re-adjust so that you don’t risk any fire hazards.

For menorahs, kinaras, and other special candle settles, make sure they are kept in an open place with plenty of air around them to disperse any heat the flames may produce. It is also very important to keep them away from flammable decorations and placed higher up on tables and counters so that they are harder to bump or knock into my accident.

Hang Safely

Wreaths, stockings, string lights, and more, we hang a lot of decorations this time of year. Inside and outside decorations that might require ladders and nails must always be handled carefully.

Outdoor decorations should never be hung up alone. Always have a family member or friend help, and make sure that the ladder you use is secure. Having gardening or utility gloves is a good way to keep your grip secure and protect yourself from any scratches.

When hanging decorations indoor, then make sure you have help for any high hanging items. Just like hanging lights on the roof outside, anytime you’re on a ladder inside, you need someone to help. It also important to only use full or step ladders when reaching high places. Chairs and tables, no matter how convenient, are not safe to stand on when you’re trying to put up mistletoe. Find a ladder and do it safely!

Another good idea to keep your decorations safer is to use temporary wall hooks, like Command Strips, to hang things up. These minimalize damage to the walls, and it eliminates the risk of injuries involved hammers and nails.

Make It Kid Friendly

If you have kids in the house or are expecting some special young guests for holiday celebrations this year, then you want to make sure that your holiday décor won’t pose a risk to their health. Check the materials used in making various ornaments and decorative items. Certain paints may be toxic for people and pets and should be avoided if you have any little family members who will try to lick or teeth on the brightly colored ornaments.

It is also wise to avoid too much loose tinsel, fake snow, and glitter if you have infants, toddlers, or pets in the house. These bright, loose decorations might be beautiful to look at, but they can be easier grabbed and chewed on by tiny hands and mouths.

For the all-natural decorations, like pin boughs, holly, and mistletoe, you want to make sure these stay far out of reach for children and animals. They aren’t safe to consume and can sometimes be poisonous for children, so it is important to keep all of your mistletoe hung high enough that the kids can’t grab at it.


This holiday season, Grand Parkway Emergency Center hopes that your whole family gets to celebrate with all of your favorite traditions. As you set up for the holidays, we encourage you to take the necessary steps to make sure you stay safe. But, in the event of any household accidents or illnesses, then Grand Parkway Emergency Center will be here with concierge-level care 24/7, even on the holidays.

Nutex Health, Inc.supports you and your family’s health. Come visitGrand Parkway Emergency Center, A Department of Oakbend Medical Center or any one of our concierge-level freestanding facilities for the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.