Avoid these Holiday Decorating Hazards

An emergency medicine physician offers some safety tips to keep in mind as you start decorating for the holidays.

Media Downloads

CCNS health and medical content is consumer-friendly, professional broadcast quality (available in HD), and available to media outlets each day.

Additional Assets

*Email us for video download password Content is property of Cleveland Clinic and for news media use only.

Media Contact

We're available to shoot custom interviews & b-roll for media outlets upon request.

CLEVELAND – Now that Thanksgiving is over, many people are decorating for the holidays.

But there are some important things to remember when decking your halls to avoid injuries.

“When you’re putting up holiday decorations, it often involves being on a ladder. You need to be careful when you do that and do it the right way,” explained Thomas Waters, MD, an emergency medicine physician for Cleveland Clinic.

Whether it’s a cut, sprain or something more serious – Dr. Waters said falls cause a lot of the holiday decorating injuries they see in the emergency department.

Along with being careful on ladders, he urges people to check any string lights or extension cords when taking them out of storage.

You shouldn’t use any decorations with exposed wires or fraying.

Dr. Waters said you also want to avoid plugging too many things into one outlet, so you don’t create a fire hazard.

When in doubt, leave it up to the professionals – especially when it comes to getting on the roof to decorate.

“Climbing on the roof is really not a good idea,” Dr. Waters said. “It’s cold. It might be icy. It’s windy. I always recommended using a professional to install any roof decorations.”

Aside from decorating, Dr. Waters urges people to be mindful of overindulging in unhealthy foods and alcohol during the holidays.

Moderation is key to avoid any other health issues, like a heart attack or stroke.

For Journalists Only

Sign up below to be added to our Daily Health Stories distribution list.

For more information on medical conditions and diseases, visit our Health Library.