Who remembers the scene in the 1989 classic, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, when Clark Griswold, portrayed by Chevy Chase, is stapling lights to his roof but quickly loses his traction and ends up dangerously dangling from the roof? Clark is a true family man who genuinely wants his family to have the perfect Christmas and consequently goes to great lengths to make this happen. Although we like to laugh at his silly and often ill-advised choices, his actions are exactly what we want to avoid this holiday season. In this blog, we have listed a few decorating tips to keep you safe so you can hopefully avoid being a part of a scene from this hilarious film.*

Holiday Lights
One of the best parts of the Christmas season are the lights. It’s already the most wonderful time of year, but there is just something so special about the twinkling and sparkling that makes it so magical. However, these beautiful decorations also have many risks associated with it. First of all, you should never hang your lights close to anything flammable. If you do have lights around a non-artificial Christmas tree, be extremely cautious and make sure to unplug the lights before bed or before leaving the house.

Holiday Tree
According to the American Christmas Tree Association (ACTA), Christmas trees start around 210 house fires per year.** The best way to avoid a Christmas tree fire is to use artificial trees, which are fireproof and require very little upkeep. However, if you love the pine scent of Christmas trees and are committed to purchasing a real one, it is necessary to keep it well-watered as the dry trees are even more flammable.

Holiday Ornaments
Many ornaments are made of glass which means they are extremely breakable and can shatter into many very sharp pieces. If you have small children or curious pets, they could accidentally step on the glass and hurt themselves. Although glass ornaments are extremely beautiful, consider purchasing plastic ones, or hang your glass ones high above the reach of small children and pets. Further, when decorating your tree, if you insist on glass ornaments, securely place them on a sturdy branch or far enough back into the tree so if it does fall, there is some cushion.

Holiday decorating is one of the primary ways to get in the Christmas spirit. It is difficult to imagine Christmas without lights or decorated Christmas trees. These decorations provide joy that makes this the most wonderful time of the year. It seems impossible for something to go wrong during the holiday season, but that is not the case. As you begin to decorate, make sure that your home is properly insured to prepare for such accidents. Whether you have specific questions or simply want to discuss your options, the Penny Insurance team is ready to help. We are happy to take the time you’re willing to spend, so give us a call today to connect with an agent to discuss your coverage options.

* https://tristarins.com/holiday-decorating-safety-tips/ (*Site no longer exists)
** https://www.christmastreeassociation.org/christmas-trees-and-fire-safety/