Be Safe When Decorating for the Holiday Season

by Keith Castonguay, Director of Health, Safety and Environment

For many of us, decorating our houses or businesses for the holiday season is an annual event that can make this time of year even more special. Whether it is hanging lights, decorating a Christmas tree or lighting candles, there are many safety precautions we can take to ensure we can enjoy these holiday activities without an accident or injury to ourselves, a colleague, a friend or a family member.

When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces and radiators. Heated rooms can dry live trees out rapidly, be sure to keep the stand filled with water. Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways. Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials to decorate a tree. In homes with small children, take special care to avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable and avoid those that resemble candy or food that may tempt a child to eat them.

If using candles, keep them a safe distance away from anything that can potentially catch fire. Never use a lit candle to decorate a Christmas tree and never leave a burning candle unattended.

For the Clark Griswold in all of us, there are ways to decorate the outside of your house safely. When using a ladder, check the stability and make sure it is on steady, non-slippery ground. Do not overreach, shift or move a ladder while hanging decorations.

Following these safety tips will help you and your families have a safe and enjoyable holiday season. And remember, if you are planning to celebrate the holiday season while consuming alcoholic beverages, never drink and drive.

From all of us at Marine Atlantic, we wish you a safe and Merry Christmas and prosperous, happy, and accident free New Year.