Family Health

Deck the Halls! Check the Halls! 12 days of holiday safety

Augusta University Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response share 12 holiday tips to keep the Christmas cheer

The holidays are an exciting time of year full of fun activities like tree-decorating, present wrapping, traveling, cooking and decorating. While you’re counting down with turtle doves and French hens, cross these 12-holiday safety tips off your list too.

Day #1 One-third of Christmas tree fires are due to electrical failures. Check all lights for shorts, frayed wires and broken bulbs before decorating. Never use outdoor lights inside.

Day #2 Use extension cords wisely and never overload the sockets. Always use heavy-duty, outdoor extension cords for holiday lighting.

Day #3 Watch your step! Use the appropriate ladder or stool when decorating.

Day #4 Make sure that the tree is on a stable platform or stand at least 3 feet from all heat sources. One in 4 tree fires is caused by a tree being placed too close to a heat source.

Day #5 Water the tree every day. If you’re using an artificial tree, make sure that it is heat resistant.

Day #6 Ensure that carbon monoxide and fire alarms are in working order. Keep an extinguisher nearby.

Day # 7 Keep your pets safe. Keep poisonous plants out of their reach. Poinsettias, holly berries, mistletoe, pine tree needles, and lilies are toxic to pets.

Day #8 Keep your house secure. Do not run extension cords through windows or garages.

Day # 9  If traveling for the holidays remember to service the vehicle, check the tires, plan ahead, and stay alert. Stay alert and distraction-free during holiday traffic.

Day #10 If you are away from your home for the holidays, place a timer on your DVR, lights etc. to make the home look occupied.

Day # 11 Do not post public announcements of your travel plans on social media. This lets potential thieves know your house is unoccupied.

Day #12 Always ask a trusted friend to collect mail or other deliveries when away for the holidays.

Have safe and happy holidays from Augusta University Health!
If you’re experiencing an emergency, call 911 (or your local emergency number) or go to the nearest emergency room.
The Augusta University Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response provides leadership, support, and training to reduce the disruption of disasters and emergency situations through a comprehensive, risk-based emergency preparedness platform. To contact them, visit or call them 24/7 at 706-729-2407.

About the author

Augusta University Health

Based in Augusta, Georgia, Augusta University Health is a world-class health care network, offering the most comprehensive primary, specialty and subspecialty care in the region. Augusta University Health provides skilled, compassionate care to its patients, conducts leading-edge clinical research and fosters the medical education and training of tomorrow’s health care practitioners. Augusta University Health is a not-for-profit corporation that manages the clinical operations associated with Augusta University.