Are You Decking the Halls Safely?

It's that time of year again! The weather conditions are getting colder, the holiday shopping is in full swing, and people are busy creating their home or offices into a winter wonderland. Fun decorations make for a festive holiday atmosphere, but they can also be a hazard to the workplace. Below are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare for the holiday season.

Electrical Hazards

  • Limit Your Use: Be sure to not overdo your use of holiday lights and what your work area's electrical outlets can handle. "Daisy chaining" power strips and the use of extension cords to plug in several strands of lights could potentially overload your circuits and increase the risk of a fire.
  • Hang It Up: When decorating your space be sure and secure your lights to walls, ceilings, or cubicle with tape or temporary hooks. Avoid using staples or nailing anything into the surfaces, this could cause damage to insulation of wiring, which then could cause sparking.
  • Shut It Down: Be sure at the end of the day someone is responsible for turning off all additional office lighting. Leaving lights on will cause an increase in the company's electricity bill and could cause a fire while the building is unattended. A recommendation to be better safe than sorry is to use timer devices to shut the lights off automatically.

Fall Hazards

LOOK OUT! WATCH IT! These are some of the most common remarks heard in the office when trying to avoid the slips, trips, and falls that are all to common this time of year. Decorating is a non-task that can make these types of injuries even more likely. To avoid these slips, trips, and falls this year below are a few tips to help you out.

  • Watch Your Step:  If you have high ceilings in your office and will need something to hang your decorations with, be sure you have a proper ladder or stepping stool. Avoid from standing on common office objects like desks, chairs, or boxes of supplies.
  • Co-Worker Care: Be sure to not leave decorations out as a trip hazard. Certain items like cords are a major trip hazard to pedestrians. Avoid running cords across walkways, and tape down any cords that are at or near floor level.

Fire Hazards

When installing lights you should always follow standard electrical safety practices to control the facility's fire hazards, but additional fire safety issues need to be considered wen making holiday preparations. Below we have listed a few Do's and Don'ts that everyone should know when it comes to fire hazards and holiday decor.

  • Do have decorative material that is non-combustible.
  • Don't burn candles under any circumstances.
  • Do make sure all decorations are clear of all sprinklers or alarm systems.
  • Don't hang any holiday decorations from sprinkler heads, exit signs or fire extinguishers.
  • Do make sure none of holiday decoration displays are blocking any doors, walkways or evacuation routes.