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Holiday Safety Tips

Holiday Ornaments

Thanksgiving has passed, bringing us well into the holiday season. For many, that means it’s time to decorate! Before you break out the candles, lights, and baubles, take a look at these holiday safety tips:


  • If you buy an artificial tree, be sure to select one that is marked “Fire Resistant”

  • If you buy a natural tree, select the freshest one that you can find. Look for a tree that is green, with needles that do not break and are hard to pull from the branches. Trim at least one inch from the bottom of the tree to maximize water absorption.

  • Dispose of the tree when it becomes too dry by taking it to a recycling center, or having it removed by a municipal pick-up service. Never burn an old tree or needles in a wood stove or fireplace.


  • Before you plug in your lights, check the strings for frayed insulation, loose connections, and exposed bare wires. Repair or discard damaged light sets.

  • Promptly replace burned out bulbs. Discard light sets with bulbs that burn out rapidly, or that show signs of melting around bulbs.

  • Use only Underwriters Laboratories (UL) approved lights.

  • Do not overload electrical sockets—use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per extension cord.

  • Never use indoor lights for outdoor decoration—these are not made to withstand the elements, and can cause an electric shock if they get wet.

  • Unplug the lights before you go to bed or leave the house.

  • Outdoor electric lights and decorations should be plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs).


  • Never burn wrapping paper in the fireplace. Doing so may cause released embers to start a fire, or produce a build-up of toxic chemical fumes within the home.

  • Use a screen in front of the fireplace any time a fire is burning.

  • Never leave the fireplace unattended.


  • Burn candles in sturdy, fireproof holders away from decorations and other combustible materials.

  • Clean and trim wicks to 1/8 inch-1/4 inch before lighting.

  • Never leave candles burning unattended.

The holidays are also the perfect time to make sure that your insurance policies are up to date. For more information about homeowners insurance, renters insurance, and other types of coverage, contact The Reis Group today!