The following are holiday decorating safety tips from the St. Clair Ambulance District and the St. Clair Fire Protection District.

When putting up holiday decorations, in a high place, use a step stool or ladder on flat level ground and make sure that it is secure to prevent falls. Falls that occur at two times the patient’s height can cause significant trauma.

Do not use staples, nails or racks on Christmas light cords. Keep extension cords free of snow and rain. It can cause an electrical shock.

Make sure Christmas trees are on a stable platform so that it does not topple over if pulled on by small children.

Keep poisonous holiday plants out of the reach of children and pets. The most used plant for the holidays is Poinsettias. These can be extremely toxic if consumed.

Check holiday lights for exposed wiring, fraying and kinks as this can cause electrical shock and burns.

Designate a sober driver if consuming alcohol, not just around the holidays, but every time while drinking.

When preparing a meal, make sure to wash hands, utensils, sink and any other surfaces that raw meat has touched. Make sure that it is thoroughly cooked. This will prevent salmonella.

Signs of salmonella are diarrhea, fever, headache, nausea and vomiting. Also, make sure leftovers are heated to 165 degrees to prevent this illness as well.

Keep sharp, breakable decorations out of the reach of children, these can cause deep lacerations with uncontrolled bleeding if they break.

Fire District

There are a few things to remember to keep live Christmas trees beautiful and keep houses safe:

When picking a live tree early in the season, make sure to keep the tree watered. Check the bowl often and add water as needed to keep it wet.

If a live tree is left dry, it can dry from the inside out and become a waiting fire hazard. Please keep enough room around any Christmas tree, live or artificial, from open flames such as candles, fireplace, wood stove or any heating device. This can aid in preventing any kind of Christmas related disaster.

Please use UL rated approved lighting on trees. It is a good idea to have them connected to a surge protector.

When decorating outside, please use caution while working on a ladder or up on a roof. Make sure one’s footing is good and move slowly to prevent a fall from any extreme heights.

If possible, have someone assist with securing the ladder. Remember, slow is fast when decorating outside.

Also, please do not overload any one circuit. Outside cords and surge protectors are recommended due to the weather that could be experience during the holiday season.

As the temperature begins to creep down, space heaters become some households’ best friend. Please do not plug space heaters into extension cords or surge protectors. They are recommended to the plugged into an outlet directly.

If using a fireplace or wood stove, have the flue checked and cleaned. This can help in preventing flue fires, which could spread to other areas of your home.

As a reminder, crews are on duty 24/7. If there is any type of emergency, do not hesitate to call.