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Commit a Minute to Holiday Safety

Frantic shopping! Wrapping gifts! Hanging lights! Cooking! Planning parties!  As a mom, you know life can get extremely busy while preparing for the holidays. However, the focus on celebrating can turn fun festivities into injuries and accidents if safety is not a priority. Studies show that nearly 230 people will visit the emergency room each day in November and December to be treated for holiday-related injuries.

Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a leading independent safety organization, is calling all parents, specifically moms, to set aside time in their schedule to commit at least one minute to safety each day this holiday season.

Top 10 Tips for Safer Holidays

  1. Water your tree: Dry trees pose a substantial fire risk. After bringing your tree home, make a fresh cut at the base of the trunk before putting it in a sturdy stand. Be sure to water it daily. Additionally, know your trees expiration date. After about four weeks, the tree will stop absorbing water, dry out and should be discarded.
  2. Check your lights, check them twice: Inspect all of your electric lights and decorations for damage or wear. Cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires and loose connections may pose a fire or shock hazard.
  3. Plan your fire escape: Use the holidays as a good time to practice a fire escape plan with your loved ones. Identify at least two exits from every room in the house.
  4. Sleep safe, install smoke alarms: UL recommends using both types of smoke alarms in your home. Be sure that at least one smoke alarm is installed on each floor of your home, and always close to sleeping areas.
  5. Be flame aware: Always blow out unattended candles and teach your children to stay away from lit candles or fireplaces.
  6. Give wrapping paper a second life: Don’t burn used wrapping paper as it may cause intense flash fires. And throwing it out adds waste. Consider recycling or repurposing it instead.
  7. Know your lights and cords: Do not connect more than three miniature light strings together.  Also, be sure to check the rating on your extension cords and do not plug in more than the recommended wattage.
  8. Steer your tree clear: Your tree should be positioned at least three feet away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. It should also not block any doorways or exits.
  9. Decorate with a safe eye: Cords should not be run under carpets and lights should not be tacked-up with metal nails or staples. Small decorations can be choking hazards so keep them out of the reach of toddlers.
  10. Look for UL: Only use light strings and other electrical decorations that bear the UL Mark near the plug, signifying that safety standards have been met.

For additional ideas and activities on how to “Commit a Minute” this holiday season, visit


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About the Author

Amanda Acuña an influential Mom Blogger created MommyMandy as an online resource to the parenting community. She has three daughters, ages 16,13,7 and a son who is 4. They currently reside in Texas.

945 Responses to “Commit a Minute to Holiday Safety”

  1. Rebecca Graham says:

    Follow you on Twitter; rhoneygee
    Tweeted: !/rhoneygee/status/5532539808645120


  2. Stephanie V. says:

    Just installed a carbon monoxide montior
    tvollowitz at aol dot com

  3. Lynnette Stevens says:

    To be safe we never leave the Christmas tree lights on if we aren’t home or after we go to bed. We also are very careful about what we hang from the fireplace mantel.

  4. Mari says:

    We stay safe by using an artificial tree and not decorating the tree with lights. A friend of mine has a husband who is a fireman, and he has told us many stories about fires started by real trees. Apparently, they are extremely flammable.

  5. Mary Heare says:

    We are going to have the holidays at home and use energy saving lights and make sure our lights are out each night before bed

  6. Beth S. says:

    We just took two steps toward additional safety this week: locking the interior door when the garage door is open for more than a minute or two, and keeping our (energy-efficient) outside bulbs on at night.

  7. Rebecca Graham says:

    I changed the batteries on my smoke alarm. I am going to water the tree often after we put one up.

  8. Cindy says:

    Make sure the fire and carbon monoxide detectors are in proper order.
    Dove056 at aol dot com

  9. Cindy says:

    I subscribe to your newsletter

  10. Heather H. says:

    We do a lot of traveling around the holidays so we make sure the car is packed with an emergency car kit and the car is tuned!
    hmhenderson AT yahoo DOT com

  11. Heather H. says:

    Commented on Littlest Pet Shop Petriplets post
    hmhenderson AT yahoo DOT com

  12. Heather H. says:

    hmhenderson AT yahoo DOT com

  13. Heather H. says:

    Commented on Hand Warmers post
    hmhenderson AT yahoo DOT com

  14. Heather H. says:

    Commented on Snapware Review post
    hmhenderson AT yahoo DOT com

  15. Heather H. says:

    Commented on Toy Story 3 Review post
    hmhenderson AT yahoo DOT com

  16. Heather H. says:

    Commented on Coming Next Summer…post
    hmhenderson AT yahoo DOT com

  17. Sadie Carey says:

    To be safe this holiday season we are checking all the smoke alarms and the fire extinguisher to make sure all are in working order.

  18. Sadie Carey says:

    I tweeted the giveaway @karmajnke.

  19. Sadie Carey says:

    I subscribe to your email.

  20. Debra B says:

    following you on twitter

    and tweeted here


  21. shel says:

    We have all our lights on timers so they turn off just before we go to bed. I also stopped using candles and I use aroma sticks or warmers that use light bulbs to scent my house now.

    shel704 at aol dot com

  22. shel says:

    email subscriber

  23. shel says:

    Shared on Facebook: Michelle Hudak

  24. shel says:

    Your button is on my right sidebar (

  25. Debra B says:

    When it starts to get dark outside we turn our outside lights on, which include the front & back porch lights and our big spotlight that is on the garage that shine out over our cars and driveway this way any one that is out there would be visible from any window and we keep our doors locked at all times, Inside we’ve recently installed new smoke detectors throughout our house including the basement. We have quite a few empty homes on our street that makes the occupied houses stand out more and these days you just never know what is going on with strangers in the neighborhood, so we try to watch out for the few neighbors that are left on our street too.

  26. Debra B says:

    I subscribe to your newsletter

    thanks again

  27. Kim says:

    We now use flameless candles and make sure that the batteries in our smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are fresh.

  28. Lynn Burbridge says:

    Make sure they’re seat belted when we go to Grandmas, and turning off the tree lights when we’re not home or asleep.

  29. Adrienne Gordon says:

    We go over fire safety during this time of year.

  30. courtney says:

    we checked all the smoke alarms, and talked about fire safety!

  31. courtney says:

    email subscriber

  32. Margaret Smith says:

    We just replaced and tested all our fire alarms & we just got three new Fire Extinguishers to keep in our kitchen, garage & downstairs by the door where we grill outside.
    Thanks so much for this great giveaway.

  33. Margaret Smith says:

    I’m a subscriber.
    Thanks again

  34. Margaret Smith says:

    I tweeted:

  35. Amber says:

    We’re checking our Christmas lights, watching for hanging cords etc. I love the tips above, many of them are very helpful. Thanks!

  36. Amber says:

    I’m a subscriber.

  37. Kristie says:

    We make sure to keep our tree watered and never leave the lights on on the tree when we’re not awake or home. We also recently checked our smoke detectors and made sure the kiddos know how to get out if there is a fire.

  38. Kristie says:

    I subscribe via e-mail.

  39. Kristie says:

    Your button is in my sidebar.

  40. edq143 says:

    this sounds great

  41. Heather S says:

    We changed all the batteries in our smoke alarm

  42. paige chandler says:

    We just got a fancy new home alarm system. If we all figure out how to use it – we’ll be safe and sound at home.

  43. Jess says:

    I am putting up the lights when The Man is not at home, otherwise I’m gonna kill him.

    Kidding, I’m going with electric candles rather than real ones.

  44. Laura says:

    We keep our home safe with timed lights and by watering the Christmas tree regularly

  45. meeyeehere aka Rachel Crisman says:

    Well, I only burn candles in my sink because I have a terrible fear of something catching fire.We only use new heaters and always turn them off when we leave and we don’t leave our Christmas trees on when no one is at home.

  46. meeyeehere aka Rachel Crisman says:
    got your main button too

  47. cathy miller says:

    I like the new LED lights and I use those for the decorations now. I can’t believe we used to use those big hot lights

  48. meeyeehere aka Rachel Crisman says:

    blogged 3

  49. Steve S says:

    We make sure to turn the lights off on the tree when we’re not home or in sight

  50. cathy miller says:

    friend request on facebook cathy miller

  51. cathy miller says:

    I subscribe to the news letter

  52. Steve S says:

    I shared on Facebook

  53. Lynda E. says:

    I took all my old style tree lights to Home Depot and traded them in for LED lights.

  54. Steve S says:

    Email Subscriber

  55. Marcia Goss says:

    We have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. We also have an artificial tree, and never leave the lights on when we go out or go to bed.

  56. Marcia Goss says:

    I’m an email subscriber.

  57. Bacallsmom says:

    I always TURN OFF the lights when we are not there to monitor them–inside, outside, on the tree, etc.

  58. Bacallsmom says:

    Your button is on my sidebar at

  59. Bacallsmom says:

    I’m an e-mail subscriber.

  60. tracy davis says:

    We stay safe by using an artificial tree

  61. sandy says:

    changed batteries to smoke alarm- went and had fire extingusher checked- unplugged unneded things and secured windows for the winter

  62. Tarah says:

    We’re tying off the Christmas tree to the wall so you can’t accidently knock it over!

  63. Shanda J says:

    To keep my family safe, we only use LED candles instead of regular ones to avoid fire and burns to the children
    diamond42377 AT gmail DOT com

  64. Benny says:

    I tweeted!

  65. Tari L. says:

    We check out tree and water it daily. We also check all lights for any damage prior to using them and make sure they are turned off when we are not home or are sleeping.

  66. Linda Kish says:

    We put our tree up high to keep the dogs out of it.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  67. Linda Kish says:

    I am an RSS subscriber

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  68. Denise B. says:

    Keep the doors chained and bolted at all times! 🙂

  69. mindy says:

    cleaning the dryer vents and making sure the leaves are taken care of thanks for the giveaway minsthins at optonline dot net

  70. AuraR says:

    We changed all the batteries in the smoke detectors

  71. Benny says:

    I like your #8 suggestion: Steer your tree clear of dangers, like heaters. This is important. A tree near a hot heater all night can become a big hazard! We’ll be doing this suggestion for sure (and the others)!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  72. Sunshyn V says:

    I’m puttimg down a fire resistant pad in front of the fire place and getting rid of the old holiday lights.
    chainmail(at) iwon(dot) com

  73. Jimmy says:

    We’ll make sure the fire detectors have new batteries

  74. Susan S says:

    I keep my family safe by having a carbon monoxide detector and fire detector.

  75. Christine says:

    don’t leave lit candles unattended

  76. Debbie Criss says:

    I’m using solar lights. I’m saving energy and having the safest Holidays.

  77. mickeyfan says:

    We have 2 naughty cats, so we hook the tree to the wall to keep it from tipping over.

  78. Kiara says:

    I changed all the batteries in my smoke alarms.

  79. Tina J says:

    We have a fake tree! keeps everyone safe!

  80. Monique Rizzo says:

    We unplug unused appliances and tree lights.
    Thanks for the chance.

  81. Kristi C says:

    We will be watering our tree daily when we get it and we will be replacing all of our holiday lights.

  82. Sharon Harmon says:

    Making sure all windows and doors to outside locked, so burgler can’t come in and steal Christmas presents.

  83. Cynthia C says:

    I’m carefully checking all the lights and checking the batteries in all the smoke detectors.

  84. Jacqueline Griffin says:

    I shared FB
    User name~Jacqueline Taylor Griffin
    Thank You!!

  85. Kelly says:

    I’m moving to electric candle heating devices for my jar candles. They still release the scent, but without the flame!

  86. Margaret Smith says:

    I tweeted:
    Thanks again

  87. Jacqueline Griffin says:

    I have raised my kids to stay home on holidays. If we travel, we travel as a family.
    Thank You!!

  88. Jacqueline Griffin says:

    I am a fan on FB
    User name~Jacqueline Taylor Griffin
    Thank You!!

  89. Jeff says:

    Checking outlets are plugged in correctly. The tree especially.

  90. Jacqueline Griffin says:

    I subscribe to your news letter
    Thank You!

  91. Jacqueline Griffin says:

    I follow on twitter
    Thank You!

  92. elizabeth p says:

    We have set alarm reminders on our cell phones so that twice a week we check the lights and the tree.

  93. Benny says:



  94. Jacob says:

    I follow you on Twitter under the name JCHARRIES and tweeted at !/JCHARRIES/status/6148360608153601

  95. Linda Lansford says:

    We only use safe products

  96. Linda Lansford says:

    I sub to email

  97. Deborah Wellenstein says:

    We are very careful with our fireplace, and we never leave candles unattended. Thank you!

  98. Deborah Wellenstein says:

    I am an email subscriber. (dwellenstein at cox dot net)

  99. Jacob says:

    I always make sure my electronics have the UL approval on them. In addition, I make extra sure not to overload any of the plugs which is a common issue with lost of people

  100. Jacob says:

    I am an e-mail subscriber

  101. Christine says:

    All of our smoke alarms are in good working order and we turn the tree off when unattended. Thank you!

  102. Christine says:

    I subscribe to your newsletter

  103. Timbo says:

    Actually, we keep a well-stocked medkit around the house for all those little emergencies, so we’re gonna restock and replace a lot of that 😀

  104. Timbo says:

    I just tweeted this giveaway here 😀

  105. Gail Crawford says:

    I am adding turning extra lights on outside to help keep us safe.

  106. Meaghan F. says:

    We make sure we unplug everything and don’t leave the Christmas lights on.

  107. beth shepherd says:

    We are not traveling this year and are making sure that all the cords for the light etc get turned off every night
    thank you

  108. beth shepherd says:

    I sub
    thank you

  109. Sarah Hirsch says:

    we don’t do lights, so that eliminates a fire hazard

  110. Susan T says:

    checking all the lights before we put them on the tree. Since I use them year after year it is important to inspect them each year. semtaylor(at)yahoo(dot)com

  111. Susan T says:

    Email subscriber semtaylor(at)yahoo(dot)com

  112. Jacob says:

    11/21 Tweet !/JCHARRIES/status/6387085359452160

  113. ohkeeka says:

    To keep your home safe for your pets, you shouldn’t leave poinsettias in their reach!

  114. ohkeeka says:

    I subscribe to your newsletter

  115. Joseph says:

    We had an alarm installed on the house. Added timers to all the lamps and replaced old door lock hardware on both the front and back doors.

  116. Mindy H says:

    i have a timer on my x-mas tree lights so they aren’t left on all the time

  117. Mindy H says:

    have your main button

  118. nan says:

    i am limiting the number of lights plugged into one another on the tree and i won’t leave it lit while we sleep
    nannypanpan at

  119. nan says:

    e-mail subscriber

  120. Gena says:

    I pledge to never, ever leave things on unattended. I will not leave the christmas tree lights or outside light plugged in when I leave the house, if only to run to the store or even when we sleep. That is just asking for something to happen.

  121. Gena says:

    I follow you on Twitter (@GMERRELL) and tweeted at

  122. Gena says:

    I subscribe by e-mail

  123. Anna says:

    We installed smoke alarms.

  124. Elizabeth I says:

    I am creating an emergency kit with a bunch of canned goods.

  125. joni says:

    We never leave the house with the tree lights or house lights on.

  126. Benny says:


  127. Margaret Smith says:

    I tweeted:


  128. beth shepherd says:

    thank you

  129. Ellie W says:


  130. Ellie W says:

    We just installed two new smoke detectors and changed the batteries in all the old ones.

  131. Jacob says:

    11/22 Tweet !/JCHARRIES/status/6901329599406080

  132. Jacob LaFountaine says:

    No christmas trees to burn down

  133. Elizabeth I says:!/Superfrugalette/status/6938180519469056 daily tweet topgun34er(at)hotmail(dot)com

  134. Steve S says:

    Daily tweet !/slates96/status/7019282651156480

  135. Elizabeth I says:!/Superfrugalette/status/7174625540702208 daily tweet topgun34er(at)hotmail(dot)com

  136. Margaret Smith says:

    I tweeted:
    Thanks so much.

  137. Phil says:

    Times lights, a fake tree (no watering) and smoke detectors help keep us safe

  138. Jacob says:

    11/23 TWeet !/JCHARRIES/status/7282407900184576

  139. Jennifer T. says:

    We replaced our glass ornaments with plastic ones.

  140. Jennifer T. says:

    I’m an e-mail subscriber.

  141. Katherine says:

    Just changed the batteries in the smoke detectors and no unattended candles this year

  142. Katherine says:

    Newsletter subscriber