Be on the Safe Side This Season: UL’s Top Holiday Safety Tips - Divine Lifestyle

Be on the Safe Side This Season: UL’s Top Holiday Safety Tips

The holidays are considered the “most wonderful time of the year,” but all that seasonal cooking, decorating and home entertaining causes about 230 people to visit emergency rooms each day in November and December. To help families prevent potential home fires and other accidents, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is asking families to commit a minute each day to safety. To help families get started on their commitment, UL has created a list of tips designed to keep your family merry, cheery and bright.

Top Tips for Safer Holidays
  • Water your tree: Dry trees pose a substantial fire risk. After bringing your tree home, make a fresh cut at the base of the trunk before putting it in a sturdy stand. Be sure to water it daily. Additionally, know your trees expiration date. After about four weeks, the tree will stop absorbing water, dry out and should be discarded.
  • Check your lights, check them twice: Inspect all of your electric lights and decorations for damage or wear. Cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires and loose connections may pose a fire or shock hazard.
  • Plan your fire escape: Use the holidays as a good time to practice a fire escape plan with your loved ones. Identify at least two exits from every room in the house.
  • Be flame aware: Always blow out unattended candles and teach your children to stay away from lit candles or fireplaces.
  • Give wrapping paper a second life: Don’t burn used wrapping paper as it may cause intense flash fires. And throwing it out adds waste. Consider recycling or repurposing it instead.
  • Know your lights and cords: Be sure to check the rating on your extension cords and do not plug in more than the recommended wattage.
  • Steer your tree clear: Your tree should be positioned at least three feet away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. It should also not block any doorways or exits.
  • Decorate with a safe eye: Cords should not be run under carpets and lights should not be tacked-up with metal nails or staples. Small decorations can be choking hazards so keep them out of the reach of toddlers.
  • Look for UL: Only use light strings and other electrical decorations that bear the UL Mark near the plug, signifying that safety standards have been met.

For additional ideas and activities on how to Commit a Minute this holiday season, visit

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3 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. Tamara B.

    Wonderful safety tips and remember if using a space heater this winter to check it’s cords and never put it close to bedding, curtains or funiture too

  2. Mari

    Due to the fire hazard, we no longer use real trees. We use an artificial tree now. My friends husband is a fireman, and has told us stories about the fires he has had to put out because of the flammability of real trees.

  3. ellen

    Yep, that space heater is the most common house fire for sure- make sureyou get one that has an auto turn off if it is tipped/bumped. There are quite a few on e market now too that are not hot to the touch- so many kids have been burned by the kind that have open elements!

    Great tips!

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