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Holiday Safety Tips

With the start of the holiday season there are safety and risk management considerations to help you prevent a sticky situation in your risk management.

Lighted Decorations

Everyone enjoys a festive light display. If you are creating your light show keep these safety issues in mind.

  • Lights should be UL listed for the location of use. Check to see that your lights are listed for outdoor use. Look for electrical devices listed as waterproof or suitable for wet locations. Many low-cost lighting products that are not UL listed appear every year in stores and online. This is a buyer beware situation.

  • When attaching lights or other decorations to the building, remember to “Do No Harm.” There are clips and brackets that allow attachment of decorations to gutters and roofs that will not create a leak or damage the integrity of the roof covering.

  • If you are working at heights to attach decorations, use the proper ladder and set it up properly. Do not use a metal ladder when working with electricity.

  • If the outlet for your decorations is not already Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) protected, add a portable GFCI to the circuit.

  • Keep the plugs and connections dry and off the ground. This will keep the GFCI from tripping.

Holiday Parties

You can take simple precautions to assure a happy ending to your celebrations. See our article on liquor liability for more information.

Christmas Trees

If you use a natural tree, make sure to follow these guidelines for safety. If you have never seen a dry Christmas tree fire, they are devastating. This video from the National Fire Protection Association is a great safety review. Christmas Tree Fire Safety

  • Cut the base of the tree to expose fresh wood. This will allow the tree to absorb water.

  • Keep the tree base in fresh water at all times. Refresh the water daily.

  • Secure the tree in a stand to prevent tipping or falling.

  • If the tree starts dropping needles, it is too dry and should be removed.


Candle fire frequency peaks in December. The NFPA reports 12% of fires in December are related to candles versus 4% in other months.

  • Candles should be used only when you are present to monitor and supervise. Do not let candles burn unattended.

  • Use a sturdy candle holder that will not tip over. Keep candles at least 12 inches from any combustible material.

  • Consider using flameless candles. They look and smell like the real thing.


Cooking is the leading cause of fires in homes. We had a prior article on cooking safety that offers safety tips and information.

If you choose to deep fry your turkey, please take these precautions.

  • Deep frying turkeys should be done outside the building.

  • The deep fryer should be on a noncombustible surface.

  • Test the oil level before heating. A boil over can create a severe hazard.

  • Have a fire extinguisher available for an emergency.

  • Keep children away from the fryer.

The Driehaus Difference

We want everyone to enjoy their holidays. We share these safety tips and suggestions so you can have the best holiday with the least risk. Call us with your insurance questions or needs. We look forward to hearing from you by phone at 513-977-6860 or on the internet at www.driehausins.com


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