There are plenty of ways to get into the holiday spirit, from going ice skating to blasting festive music and drinking hot cocoa by the fire, but decorating your home is undoubtedly one of the best. When the big yard inflatables, twinkling lights, and balsam candles come out, there’s no denying that the most wonderful time of the year is in full swing.
But even though holiday decorations are a source of comfort and joy, they can also cause a little more excitement than you intended and maybe even leave you covered in holiday-themed bandages. Before transforming your home into a winter wonderland, check out this collection of holiday decorating safety tips we wrapped up (and put a bow on) just for you to help keep your family and home out of harm's way this season.
Outdoor Holiday Decorating Safety Tips
Whether you’re going for the “Most Festive House in the Neighborhood” award or keeping your decor minimal this year, here are a few ways to prevent a holiday deserving of the naughty list.
Plan Your Design Ahead of Time
You can’t plan when artistic inspiration may strike, but these tips we gathered for you can help ensure your masterpiece doesn’t become a problem:
Check Lights Before You Hang Them
If lights play a major role in your design, it’s time to down a cup of coffee and get ready for a long day — because you can never get through the decorating process without one burnt-out bulb or tangled strand. But before you pull out the ladder to start putting them up, consider taking these steps we collected to make sure your lights are safe:
Follow Ladder Safety Best Practices
There are an average of 160 decorating injuries per day during the holiday season, and almost half involve falls.
So before you start climbing, make sure you know these ladder safety tips we put together for you:
Make Sure Your Decor Is Secure
Before you head back inside after a long day of decorating, check that your display won’t be going anywhere. Make sure you follow all manufacturer’s safety instructions, like using stakes to secure yard inflatables and clips to hang lights. And if you think a strong gust of wind could send it bouncing down the street, add some extra reinforcement.
Install Outdoor Security Cameras
Your magical holiday display may draw smiles from your neighbors, but it can also attract a few grinches. Potential package thieves or burglars may be able to stay hidden behind your larger-than-life inflatables, and they might even try to swipe your festive decorations.
Outdoor security cameras are a great way to help ward off uninvited holiday guests and see what’s happening at home when you’re at a dinner party or enjoying the Nutcracker. Depending on your camera, it may send you alerts if it detects motion, and you can check Live View from your phone to see if it’s just a group of red-cheeked carolers or someone making their way onto the naughty list. If you spot someone who shouldn’t be there, you may be able to use Two-Way Talk to tell them to leave.
Holiday Decorating Safety Tips for Inside
While you pin holiday decorating tips and flip through magazines for some indoor inspiration, don’t forget to think about home safety for the holidays, too.
Be Cautious With Candles
Decorations caused nearly 800 fires on average per holiday season from 2015-2019, according to the latest information available from the National Fire Protection Association. And unsurprisingly, the most common culprits were candles.
So before you start lighting up your favorite seasonal scents, make sure you’re doing it safely with these tips we collected:
Look for Safe and Fire-Resistant Holiday Decorations
When you pull out your favorite lights, ornaments, and wreaths, make sure they bring you joy instead of sparks or headaches by following these decoration safety guidelines we compiled for you:
Check Your Decor Placement for Hazards
Even trinkets with the highest safety ratings can get in the way if you put them in the wrong place. Here are a few tips we rounded up to help you prevent mishaps:
Always Unplug Everything Before You Go to Bed or Leave the House
Your Christmas tree or electric menorah might provide a cozy glow when you’re winding down, but 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
The holidays may be the most wonderful time of the year — but they can also be the most hectic. Between gift-wrapping, grocery store trips, and pie baking, it’s easy to forget to blow out a candle or unplug your twinkling lights. That’s why you should put fresh batteries in your smoke detectors and make sure they work before the holiday season. (You’re supposed to change your batteries at least once every year, so adding this task to your yearly holiday decorating routine is an easy way to ensure you don’t forget.)
If you want to be able to tell that your smoke detector is going off when you’re not home, you can add a Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Listener to your Ring Alarm. You’ll get a notification if your smoke detector goes off, so you can call the fire department or ask a neighbor to check things out.