Decorating? Here are a few safety tips

The holiday season can be a fun and busy time for all of us as we celebrate with family and friends. Getting caught up in the excitement of sleigh bells and mistletoe may cause us to lose track of the added hazards of the season. Here are some safety tips from Erie Insurance and Albion Agencies:


  • If you choose to use an artificial tree, make sure it is fire-resistant.
  • For real trees, freshness is key. Look for a tree with a sticky resin trunk and needles that bend instead of break. Water it daily.
  • Keep your tree at least three feet away from direct heat sources (fireplace, radiator).


  • All trimmings should be made of non-combustible or flame-resistant material.
  • Keep decorations with small removable parts out of the reach of children.

Lights and extension cords

  • Only use lights that have been safety tested by an independent testing lab. Look for the laboratory’s label of approval on the box
  • New or old, check each set of lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires or loose connections.
  • Fasten outdoor lights securely.
  • Do not overload extension cords. Use no more than three sets of lights per cord unless advised to the contrary by the lighting manufacturer.
  • Do not run cords under carpets or rugs.


  • Place candles within sight and where they cannot be knocked down or blown over.
  • Always use non-flammable holders and keep burning candles away from drafts and vents.
  • Keep candles away from other decorations.
  • Store matches, lighters and candles out of the reach of children.
  • Extinguish all candles when leaving a room or before going to sleep.


  • Use a sturdy screen in front of the fireplace to protect against sparks.
  • Place stockings and other trimmings away from the direct heat of the fireplace.
  • Do not burn wrappings.
  • Have your fireplace inspected and cleaned annually by a professional, certified chimney sweep.
  • Do not use gasoline, kerosene or lighter fluid to start a fire.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.

For more information, drop by our website at, or get in touch with me.

The information in this post is general in nature, and geared toward insurance conditions in Western New York.  As always, you should speak with an insurance adviser to determine your specific insurance needs.

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