DIY Home Decor Hazards Most Americans Don’t Consider During the Holiday Season

November 1, 2018

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DIY home decor

Christmas Decor professional holiday and event decorating company offers safety tips for DIY home decor enthusiasts. 

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), DIY home decor and holiday decorating activities resulted in an average of about 240 injuries per day during the holiday season of November and December, 2017.* 

Statistics like these contribute to the growing popularity of professional event and holiday decorating companies like Christmas Decor. As a premier holiday lighting and decorating company in North America, they undertake outdoor decorating for more than 50,000 homes and businesses annually. Although DIY Christmas decorations are popular in America, companies like these are becoming increasingly popular for homeowners and businesses. They make the holiday season safer. 

“The simple truth is that holiday decorating can be hazardous,” said Jim O’Loughlin of Christmas Décor by All American Turf Beauty, a franchise member of Christmas Decor, Inc. “Beyond the risk of injuries during installation, there are risks associated with using the wrong type of lighting and hardware and choosing the wrong spots to anchor or string lights and other decorations.” 

O’Loughlin strongly recommends that property owners consider using Christmas Décor by All American Turf Beauty this holiday season.  

But Americans love trying DIY Christmas decorations for themselves. For DIY home decor enthusiasts planning to install their own holiday décor this season, O’Loughlin has the following safety tips: 

Ladder Safety During DIY Home Decoration 

More than 40 percent of holiday decorating injuries involved falls from ladders, roofs, furniture, and step stools. Here are tips from the American Ladder Institute to help avoid becoming part of that statistic:** 

  • Wear sturdy shoes with slip resistant soles. Leather soles or sandals are not slip resistant. This is especially important in places where it snows during this season. DIY home decorators often forget that just because they’re home, doesn’t mean there aren’t hazards. 
  • Use a ladder rated to hold your weight combined with the weight of your tools and decorations. Some DIY Christmas decorations props may be several pounds too heavy! It should also be long enough to reach the needed height without standing on the top rung. 
  • Set your ladder up on even ground or use leg levelers. For home owners doing DIY home decor, try have someone to help you with the task. 
  • Follow the “3 point-of-contact rule”: Always face the ladder and always have two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand in contact with the ladder. Never reach so far that the buckle on your belt is outside of the right or left rail of the ladder. 
  • If your ladder is metal (including aluminum) it will conduct electricity. If a live wire from holiday lights touches a metal ladder, it can cause electrocution. DIY Christmas decorations and lights stored since the previous year may have short circuits. 
  • Don’t drink and decorate, and don’t decorate at night. This is quite common during DIY home decor attempts in the holiday season. Alcohol consumption when climbing ladders can lead to injury and death. Also, remember that decorating at night is dangerous. 


Lighting Safety for DIY Home Decor Enthusiasts 

It’s important, but it’s not enough, to ensure that lights have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory and to check each set of lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. For a safer holiday lighting display, property owners should also keep these tips from the CPSC in mind: *** 

  • Use only lights that have plugs containing fuses. DIY home decor lovers are usually quite savvy with electrical work. However, a single loose wire in your store-bought DIY Christmas decorations may cause a wide short-circuit. 
  • Check to see that outdoor lights been certified for outdoor use. This is something common during DIY home decoration. People tend to use fancy lights which aren’t safe to use outdoors. 
  • Don’t overload your home wiring during DIY Christmas decoration. Also, make sure that extension cords are rated for the intended use. Please hire a professional electrician to do a basic check-up of your wiring system at the least. 
  • Stay away from power or feeder lines leading from utility poles into older homes. People undertaking DIY home decor for the first time may not be aware of this risk. However, this is a common power distribution method used in older cities and towns. 
  • Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, house walls, or other firm supports to protect them from wind damage. Use only insulated staples (not nails or tacks) to hold strings in place or run strings of lights through hooks. Never pull or tug on lights. 
  • Plug lights into circuits protected by ground- fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) to protect against electric shock. Portable outdoor GFCIs can be purchased where electrical supplies are sold. GFCIs can also be installed permanently to household circuits by a qualified electrician. 

Holiday decorating doesn’t need to be a hazardous activity,” says O’Loughlin “Our decorating professionals help eliminate unnecessary accidents and produce a result that is often superior to what individual property owners can achieve with consumer-grade lighting and accessories. Our designers are trained to execute lighting displays on high roofs, ladders, and in tricky situations. Just as important, our installation crews use the utmost care when decorating each client’s home or business, avoiding damage to moldings, roofing, or architectural elements.” 

So, do you think DIY home decor is worth the risks? The Christmas Decor Franchise Network has been decorating homes and businesses nationwide since 1986, focusing primarily on exterior decorating services. Christmas Decor franchisees offer customized lighting displays, garlands, wreaths, and bows. 

The full-service package t hat each Christmas Decor client receives includes design, installation, maintenance, removal, and storage of all decorations. 


CPSC – Put Safety at the Top of your List When Decorating this Holiday Season 

American Ladder Institute –  Basic Ladder Safety

CPSC – Announces Holiday Season Decorating Safety Tips  


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