Learning Center

Holiday Safety Tips for Businesses

lighted evergreen in corporate lobby

If decorations or celebrations are part of your upcoming plans, be sure safety tops your to-do list.

Here are some tips to help keep your holidays happy and your employees protected.

Let safety shine

Seasonal lights give your building a warm holiday feel and can raise employee spirits as well. But be sure you're illuminating your business safely. The United States Fire Administration recommends the following precautions:

  • Inspect your holiday lights for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear.
  • Only use lighting listed by an approved testing facility.
  • Never link more than three strands of lights, unless the directions indicate it is safe.
  • Periodically check wires; they should never be warm to the touch.

Fire-free firs

If your seasonal decorations include a live tree, follow these USFA-recommended practices:

  • Place trees away from fireplaces, hot air vents or other sources of heat.
  • Don't keep your tree for more than two weeks, and make sure there is always water in the stand.
  • If using an artificial tree, make sure it is flame retardant.

Properly prepared treats make good (and safe) eats

Holiday foods make every celebration better. But be sure you're following these safety guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help keep your workplace free from food-related illnesses:

  • Avoid cross-contamination by keeping raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs (including their juices) away from ready-to-eat foods and eating surfaces.
  • Always cook food to the proper temperature.
  • Refrigerate items promptly.
  • Don't leave perishable foods out for more than two hours.

Raise a glass to employee safety

If alcohol will be part of the mix at your holiday party, put measures in place to help protect your team. The National Federation of Independent Business offers the following advice:

  • Make sure the party is voluntary.
  • Use professional bartenders, and instruct them not to serve anyone who appears intoxicated.
  • Distribute beverage tickets to limit the number of free drinks.
  • Serve heavy food, so people aren't drinking on an empty stomach.
  • Make sure guests have alternate transportation home (taxi, designated driver, etc.).

With a few simple safety practices, you and your employees can celebrate a happy new year all year long.

These recommendations were developed using generally accepted safety standards. Compliance with these recommendations is not a guarantee that you will be in conformance with any building code, federal, state or local regulation regarding safety or fire. Compliance with these recommendations does not ensure the absolute safety of your occupation, business or residence. It is the property owner's duty to warn any tenants or occupants of the property of any safety hazards that may exist.

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