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It is the most wonderful time of the year!  Whether your home has been decorated since Thanksgiving, or you are just getting started now, safety with decorations might not be on your mind.  CPSC estimates that were 14,700 holiday decorations related ER-treated injuries in 2016!  That is an average of approximately 240 injuries per day during the months of November and December!  Follow these simple safety tips from American Advantage – Petersen Group in New Berlin, Wisconsin to ensure a safe holiday season:

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree!

What could better than a fresh-cut Christmas tree to get you in the holiday spirit?  While fresh-cut trees are festive and smell amazing, they come with a variety of safety issues.  If you opt for a live tree this year, make sure to place it away from heat sources and keep a fire extinguisher nearby.  Due to needles and sap, live trees are highly flammable. Even if you decide to fake it this year with an artificial tree, ensure it is fire resistant and still placed away from heat sources.

Also, ensure that you keep your live tree hydrated, a dry tree can catch fire much faster than a tree that has been properly watered.  Do “water checks” a few times a week to ensure the tree has enough water.

Do you have furry friends that can’t seem to stay away from your tree?  Secure your tree to the wall or ceiling with fish line so it cannot be pulled or pushed down. Also, use unbreakable ornaments when possible.  If you are placing fragile ornaments on your tree, place them out of reach of children and pets.

Dreaming of a *light* Christmas?

While stringing lights anywhere out of your reach, make sure to use a proper ladder and bring a buddy to support the base!  Avoid mounting lights in a fashion that could damage the cords, such as using nails or tacks. The best way to hang lights is with hooks or insulated staples!  Turn off all lights before you go to bed or leave the house; lights have the possibility to short and start a fire.


While these tips should be used year round, candles tend to be burned more around the holidays. NEVER, use lighted candles on your tree or near any other evergreens.  Make sure they are kept on a stable, heat-resistant surface where they cannot be reached by small children or pets and cannot be knocked over. Keep them away from trees, decorations, curtains and furniture.  All burning candles should be within sight, and always extinguish flames before leaving the room.

The fire is so delightful

If you are planning to enjoy a fire in your fireplace this holiday season, follow these simple tips!  Never throw wrapping paper in a fire, it burns quickly and can lead to flash fires. Instead, opt to recycle your used or excess wrapping paper. Before lighting your fire, ensure that the flute is open and all decorations are a safe distance away.  While the fire is burning, keep a screen before the fireplace at all times.

We wish you a delightful and SAFE holiday season!  Want to make sure your home is looked after year round?  Contact the insurance professionals of American Advantage – Petersen Group in New Berlin, Wisconsin for a home insurance quote today!