Holiday Time Safety Tips
(modified from UCal San Diego safety tips)
c o n t e n t s
Lighting Up the
Decorating the workplace adds to the joy of the approaching holiday season.
Environmental Health and Safety offers these safety guidelines for decorating.
- For office decorating use indirect lighting for your decorations whenever possible.
- Electric lights should not be used on metallic trees.
- If individual tree lights are to be used, whether they are family heirlooms or new out
of the box, examine them carefully for broken or frayed wires or loose connections. If you
find any of these conditions, do not attempt to repair it. Discard the lights immediately.
The cost of new equipment is small compared to the increased risk of fire from damaged
(even if repaired) wiring.
- Open flames and candles may not be used as decorations in the workplace.
- Use of extension cords is discouraged; but if they are used, make sure they are in good
condition. The extension cord wire should be equal to or larger than the wire you plug
into it. If in doubt, use a heavy-duty cord.
- Never tack or staple an extension cord to the wall or woodwork--it could damage the cord
and present a fire hazard. Make sure cords do not dangle from counters and table tops
where they can be pulled or tripped over. If your cord lacks safety closures, cover any
unused outlets with electrical tape to prevent the chance of a child making contact with a
- Use decorative lights only when you are home and awake. Outside, use only lights that
are designed for exterior use.
- Its also a good time to check your homes smoke detector batteries.
Greenery in the
Office decorations - Note that, regardless of their combustibility, no decorative
materials are permitted in exit corridors, nor placed in such a manner as to obstruct view
of exit signs, fire alarm pull stations, fire extinguishers, or hose cabinets.
Best locations for decoration include: reception areas, lobbies, foyers, and break
rooms. And remember, dont hang anything from fire sprinklers!
EH&S urges you to choose artificial greenery made of fire retardant materials for
office decorating. All decorative materials (including, but not limited to: trees, tree
cuttings, hay, straw, curtains, drapes, hangings, etc.) must be either noncombustible (not
all artificial trees are!), inherently flame retardant (the label will say so), or have
been treated with a flame retardant solution by a licensed treatment vendor.
When using live evergreens at home, select a fresh tree. One freshness test is to lift
the cut tree a couple of inches off the ground and bring it down abruptly on the stump
end. The outer needles should not fall off in substantial numbers. Inner needles do turn
brown and shed naturally each year.
If decorating with live plants or greenery, be aware of which plants are poisonous and
should be kept out of the reach of curious children and pets. Some of our other holiday
plants are poisonous plant page: Mistletoe, Boston and English Ivy, and Holly
berries are among them. Holly shipped for decorating purposes often has the berries
removed, sometimes being replaced with artificial berries. Interesting! According to the
California Poison Control poinsettias are NOT poisonous as is commonly believed by many
If accidental ingestion of a poisonous plant does occur, contact the Poison control at
Keeping Your Holiday Cool
At work, save your easiest low-pressured tasks for the end of the day. (return
phone calls, read professional literature, preview tomorrows schedule, tidy your
work area). This allows you to unwind and leave work behind when you go home.
Stretch to relax...Take a deep breath and stretch, creating hand, arm, and chest
tension. Then exhale, releasing the tension. Breathe normally on the next inhalation.
Repeat until lingering tension is gone. A stress-relief breathing technique: rapidly blow
out all the air in your lungs; then slowly breathe in through your nose. Repeat six times.
In a holiday slump? Make time to exercise. After exercise, youwill feel
better and feel better about yourself!
Your New Year Resolutions?
Diet Incentive: Carry around a 10- or 20-pound weight for a day to see the
impact that it has on your body. Most people regularly carry around at least that much in
"Its easy to quit smoking," said Mark Twain. "Ihave
done it dozens of times." Try again. On the day you quit, think of something
youd like to buy and estimate its cost in terms of packs of cigarettes. Put aside
the money to buy it. Or, decide in the morning how many cigarettes youll smoke that
day. For every cigarette over your quota, give a dollar to your favorite charity.
Gifts of Safety
- Fire Extinguisher
- Bike Helmet
- Smoke Detectors
- Keyboard Wrist Support
- Safety Whistle
- Earthquake Preparedness Kit (for home, office, and car)
- Ear Plugs and Safety Glasses (to go with powertools)
Have a Safe and Healthy Holiday!