Keep the holidays warm, not fiery

November 20, 2018

Christmas holiday working concept with computer keyboard, Christmas lights and garland, flat lay on wood background

Holiday decorations can warm up a building quickly. They help inspire shoppers to buy, set a genial tone in the workplace, and particularly welcomed by seniors.


Holiday decorations require intense safety awareness. While most dangers center around fire, there are many other areas that need to be addressed to keep tenants, workers, and visitors safe.


Start by choosing decorations wisely. If you want candles, buy electric ones. Open flames have no place in workplace decorations, and fire experts frown on using them in the home.


Another major source of fires are holiday trees. While artificial trees are preferred, you still need to check to see if it is fire resistant as not all are.


For electric holiday decorations, the National Safety Council recommends the following:

  • Be sure that all electrical items are certified by a nationally recognized independent testing lab.
  • Inspect all lights, decoration and extension cords for damage before using.
  • Avoid overloading electrical outlets with too many decorations or electrical devices as they can overheat and cause a fire.
  • Never try to make a three-prong plug fit into a two-prong outlet.
  • Turn off all indoor and outdoor electrical decorations before leaving.
  • Refrain from placing extension cords in high-traffic areas of your workplace, or under rugs, carpets or furniture.
  • Never attempt to extend the length of an extension cord by connecting it to another extension cord.
  • Never nail or staple extension cords to walls – doing so may damage existing wire insulation.
  • Don’t place extension cords in walls or ceilings, as this can cause the cords to overheat


We don’t want to forget one of the most common workplace injuries – falls. Insist on safe ladder use at all times.


Finally, decorations in the workplace can get everyone in the holiday spirit, but remember these safety tips from The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety:

  • Never hang decorations from fire sprinklers or block them—this can prevent sprinklers from operating properly.
  • Do not cover emergency exit signs, fire extinguishers or fire alarms with decorations; also avoid overcrowding aisles or cluttering any place that would make it difficult to exit in an emergency.
  • Turn off all indoor and outdoor electrical decorations before leaving the building.


Follow these guidelines, and you should have very happy holidays. For more information on keeping your workplace free from fire and other hazards, contact Vanguard Resources.