Holiday decorations often play an important role in making a workplace feel more festive and jovial. When you’re decorating for the holidays, though, it’s also important to be mindful of the effect that those decorations might have on fire safety.
The use of decorations such as candles and strings of lights increases during the holidays. Season-specific decorations, such as Menorahs or Christmas trees, are also brought indoors and displayed at this time of the year. While very beautiful to look at, these decorations can contribute to an increased risk of fire.
To keep your office space free of fire hazards, follow these five holiday fire safety tips when decorating the office for Christmas:
- Practice Proper Wire Management – When taking extension cords or strings of lights out of storage for use during the holidays, be sure to inspect them for any frayed or bare spots. If any part of the wire is damaged, dispose of it right away. Additionally, as these devices are typically designed for temporary use, it’s a good idea to turn them off when there’s no one in the office – i.e. during nights or weekends. Remember to be careful not to overload outlets by plugging in too many heat-generating decorations like lights.
- Consider Electronic Candles – Historically, the only way to get an “authentic” visual effect was to use real candles. Recently though, with the popularization of LED lighting technology, there are numerous options on the market that allow users to eliminate real candles from the office. Some of these simulate a realistic flicker, and some even run off of battery power, so the user doesn’t have to deal with cords.
- Consider an Artificial Tree – Real evergreen trees look good and smell great, but often require regular upkeep (watering, etc.) to keep them moist and healthy. Without this care, real evergreen trees can dry out very quickly and present a significant fire hazard. On the other hand, artificial trees often look as good as the real thing, can be purchased with lights installed, require zero maintenance, and can be used for many years.
- Keep the Space Clutter-Free – The holidays usually bring with them gifts – and gifts usually come in wrapping paper. After a spirited session of gift-opening, it’s important to dispose of or recycle the aftermath properly. This limits the amount of combustible material in the space and keeps your work area looking neat and straight.
- Double Check the Fire Safety System – Prior to decorating for the holidays, and especially before the annual company holiday party, it’s a good idea to have the office’s fire safety system inspected and maintained. Having properly-working smoke and CO2 detectors helps to contribute to office safety as the year comes to a close.
From our family here at Total Fire Protection to yours, we wish you a warm holiday season filled with good cheer, and a prosperous 2020.
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