Holiday Decorating Safety Tips for Your Home
home with christmas lights
Home Security

Holiday Decorating Safety Tips for Your Home

By Ring on November 9, 2023

‘Tis the season for twinkling lights, glittering trees, and towering yard inflatables. But whether you’re planning a display to rival Clark Griswold’s or keeping it minimal this year, it’s important to deck the halls safely.

These tips can help keep you and your family protected while you transform your home into a winter wonderland.

Outdoor Holiday Decorating Safety Tips

Before you bundle up and head outside, review these tips to help ensure your annual decorating session is a safe one.

Check Lights Before You Hang Them

Your holiday display wouldn’t be complete without shimmering lights. But before you start undoing tangles, connecting strands, and setting up the ladder, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends inspecting your lights first. After checking that your lights have a safety certification from an independent lab and are rated for outdoor use, here’s what you should look for:

  • Broken sockets
  • Frayed wires
  • Loose connections
  • Other signs of damage
  • If you notice any issues, either repair or throw away the damaged strands. Consider LED holiday lights as a replacement since they use less energy, run cooler, last longer, and are easier to install, according to the Department of Energy. You can also connect your lights to a Ring Outdoor Smart Plug during installation and connect them to your Ring Bridge to turn them on or off from anywhere.

    Be Cautious on Ladders

    There are an average of 160 decorating injuries per day during the holiday season, and almost half involve falls, according to the CPSC. So before you start climbing, follow these safety tips from the Mayo Clinic:

  • Place the ladder on a firm, flat surface.
  • Ask a family member to act as a spotter. While you climb, your spotter can keep the ladder stable and stand at the base to look for safety hazards.
  • If you use an extension ladder, extend it beyond the highest point you need to climb to increase stability.
  • Make Sure Your Decor Is Secure

    Once you’ve perfected your holiday display, the American Red Cross recommends checking to ensure everything is securely fastened. If you think a strong gust of wind could send your snowman inflatable flying, add some extra reinforcement.

    Install Outdoor Security Cameras

    Whether you’re away on a holiday road trip or enjoying the Nutcracker, you can’t always be home to check that your holiday decorations are secure. But with outdoor security cameras from Ring, you can check in on Live View from anywhere to see how your display is faring in strong winds or brisk winter temperatures. With a Ring Protect subscription, sold separately, you can also look back at past footage to see what deflated your yard inflatable or knocked a strand of lights loose.1

    Download the Neighbors App

    Working together with your neighbors can help make your whole community a safer place this holiday season. And with the Neighbors App, you can easily communicate with the people around you. Whether you want to post an impressive video of neighborhood carolers or track down a missing Rudolph inflatable, the Neighbors App makes it easy to find and share important information — and spread a little holiday cheer.

    Click to open Neighbors App in App Store. Click to open Neighbors App in Google Play Store.

    Holiday Home Safety Tips for Decorating Indoors

    There’s no place like home for the holidays, especially when that home is filled with twinkling tinsel, multicolored lights, and the cozy scent of pine. These tips can help you turn your home into a holiday oasis that’s safe for the whole family.

    Be Cautious With Candles

    Over a third of home decoration fires are caused by candles, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). So before you start lighting up your favorite seasonal scents, follow these tips from the NFPA to help make sure you’re doing it safely:

  • Consider replacing traditional candles with flameless alternatives. You’ll still get the cozy effect with less of a fire risk.
  • If battery-powered options just won’t cut it, be extra attentive when you light candles, and keep hair and loose clothing away from the flame.
  • Place any scented candles, menorahs, kinaras, or Advent wreaths out of reach from children and at least one foot away from flammable decorations. Keep an eye on lit candles at all times, and blow them out before you leave the room — even if it’s just for a minute.
  • Look for Safe and Fire-Resistant Holiday Decorations

    When you’re decking the halls, be sure to check that your decorations are safe for you, your tiny tots, and your furry friends. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • The CPSC recommends looking for fire-resistant or non-combustible labels on artificial trees, garland, trimmings, and paper decorations.
  • According to the Mayo Clinic, you should keep small decorations away from children and watch them carefully if they help you decorate.
  • Keep holiday plants away from children and pets. The Mayo Clinic and Humane Society note that poinsettias, mistletoe, and holly can be toxic when ingested.
  • Choose Your Tree Carefully

    Choosing the perfect Christmas tree from the local lot is one of the most exciting holiday traditions. And while your kiddos may be focused on finding the largest, most impressive evergreen, you should also ensure it’s fresh. To find a healthy, long-lasting tree, follow these tips from the CPSC:

  • Try to pull a few needles off a branch and see if they break when bent. If they come off easily and split, move on to your next option. Fresh needles are difficult to remove and don’t break between your fingers.
  • Gently bounce the trunk of a tree on the ground. The tree is probably too dry if you see a pile of needles.
  • When you find the perfect tree and bring it home, the U.S. Fire Administration recommends cutting it at a 45-degree angle before placing the trunk in water. Keep it away from heat sources and check to ensure there’s always water at the base. If it dries out, take it down immediately since dry trees can catch fire and burn quickly.

    Unplug Everything When You’re Asleep or Away

    Your Christmas tree or electric menorah might provide a cozy glow when you’re winding down, but according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, they can short and cause fires if you leave them plugged in for too long. You should always unplug lights and other decorations before you leave for a holiday party or head to bed after a long day of gift shopping.

    Swap Out the Batteries in Your Smoke Detectors

    On a cold winter night, there’s nothing better than a crackling fire, freshly baked sugar cookies, and the warm glow of colorful lights on the tree. But the most wonderful time of the year is also the most common time for house fires, according to the American Red Cross. That’s why you should add fresh batteries to your smoke detector before the holiday season begins.

    If your smoke detector goes off when you’re out ice skating or shopping for holiday deals, you can get real-time alerts with a compatible detector or Smoke and CO Listener linked to Ring Alarm and a Ring Protect subscription, sold separately.2 When you enroll in 24/7 Alarm Professional Monitoring with your Ring Protect Pro subscription, sold separately, the professional monitoring center can also check for alerts and request assistance if you ask for help or can’t answer their emergency call.3

    Have a Safe and Merry Holiday Season!

    No matter what or how you plan to celebrate this winter, Ring hopes your holiday season is filled with comfort and joy.

    Looking for more safety tips to help you protect your home and loved ones this festive season? Check out our guides to holiday travel, holiday home safety, and package theft prevention. Happy holidays!

    1 Your Ring videos in the cloud are stored temporarily, up to 180 days. Changing your video storage time will only affect videos that are recorded after you adjust your storage time setting. Check Ring Protect Subscription Plans for more information.

    2 Ring Alarm and all Ring Alarm accessories require a subscription for in-app features and digital notifications, including digital arming / disarming and integration with other Ring, Echo, Alexa, and third party products. Subscription sold separately. View for pricing and details.

    3 A compatible Ring Protect subscription is required to enroll in the Ring Alarm professional monitoring service. Professional monitoring service is available only within the U.S. (all 50 states, but not U.S. territories) and in Canada (excluding Quebec). Ring does not own its own professional monitoring center. Smoke and carbon monoxide monitoring is not available for a business or commercially zoned address. See Ring alarm licenses at: Additional permit or false alarm fees may apply depending on your local jurisdiction. Additional charges may apply in areas that require permits or guard response service for alarm verification.

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