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5 safety tips for putting up holiday decorations

Decking the halls is supposed to be fun, but one slip can cause a serious situation. These tips can help you keep the spirit in a safe manner.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — 'Tis the season to start decorating for the holidays if you haven't already, and that includes everything from hanging Christmas lights to putting up your tree. But if you aren't careful, those festive activities could lead to a serious accident. 

In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commission says there are 160 decorating-related injuries every day during the holiday season. Almost half of those involve falls. 

Holiday decorating is an annual tradition for many families but it's important to be careful so the fun doesn't turn dangerous. 

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Here are five tips to help keep you and your family safe while decking the halls.


  • Consumer Product Safety Commissioner
  • Dr. Thomas Waters, an emergency medicine physician with Cleveland Clinic

1. Ope for lights on the lower levels

If you do need to use a ladder, make sure someone is holding the bottom for stability. 

2. Be mindful of the weather

Waters said the most dangerous part is climbing a ladder or falling from the roof, especially when you're putting up decorations in cold, rainy, or even icy weather. 

3. Look over your lights

Experts say you should examine all your holiday lights and throw away any that have frayed wires or broken bulbs. 

"These are things that you typically pull out once a year," Waters said. "You should inspect them once you pull them out and then inspect them again once you put them away from the season."

4. Don't hang your lights on anything flammable

If a bulb burns or gets really hot, that could be a very dangerous situation!

5. Make sure your live Christmas tree has plenty of water

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Christmas tree fires led to 180 injuries, 30 deaths and $56 million in property damage from 2016 to 2018. 

Waters says if you're in doubt about decorating or hanging lights safely, it might be best to just pay a professional. 

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