Safe Kids Kansas

Preventing Accidental Injury.

November 26, 2012

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

Deck the Halls Safely for the Holidays

Safe Kids Kansas reminds Kansans to take precautions when decorating

TOPEKA, Kan. - Safe Kids Kansas reminds parents and caregivers to take a few precautions when decorating for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza and other winter festivities. Holiday decorations, especially candles and electrical lighting, can be a fire hazard.

During 2004-2008, the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) estimated that decorations, excluding Christmas trees, were the item first ignited in an average of 1,170 reported home structure fires per year. Half of these fires occurred because the decoration was too close to a heat source. Forty-five percent of these incidents were started by candles. The top five days for home candle fires were Christmas, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Day, Halloween and Dec. 23. 

Pay attention to labels when choosing your lighting. “Decorative lighting should be labeled with the seal of an independent testing lab,” says Cherie Sage, Safe Kids Kansas. “If it’s not labeled for outdoor use, don’t use it outdoors.”

NFPA said that Christmas trees, both natural and artificial, were the item first ignited in an estimated average of 240 report home structure fires per year during 2005-2009.

If you decorate a tree, Safe Kids Kansas recommends these precautions:

Safe Kids Kansas also offers these tips to prevent accidental poisoning:

For more information, visit

Visit us at and on Facebook.