Griswold Family Holiday Safety Tips


The holidays are an exciting time. They are full of fun activities like decorating, spending time with loved ones, eating delicious food and of course the gifts! It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year.

It’s also the most dangerous time of the year. Did you know that emergency rooms across the country average about 250 visits per day during the holiday season because of decorating injuries? Falling off ladders, stepping on ornaments and other holiday related injuries send an average of 12,000 people to the emergency room between November and December.

The statistics are staggering. But instead of spending hours in the emergency room, why not learn from the mistakes of the Griswold family from the movie Christmas Vacation? In this article, you’re going to learn the top 5 holiday safety tips to ensure a safe and happy holiday season.

Holiday Safety Tips:

Brought to you by the Griswold Family

While the safety of your family and home is no joke, the practical lessons learned from the Griswold family can really brighten up your holiday spirit. Plus, what’s more in the holiday spirit than laughing and learning at the same time? Here are the top five Griswold holiday safety categories:

  1. Holiday Lighting
  2. Cords, wires, and power strips
  3. Christmas Tree
  4. Safe Traveling
  5. Safe Holiday Activities

We’ll briefly summarize each category and then you’ll get important safety tips to minimize your chances of a trip to the emergency room.

Holiday Lighting


In an effort to make homes shiny and beautiful, accidents can happen. Your house can catch on fire or you could even fall off a ladder while putting up your holiday lights.

First of all, check all the lights, even if you just purchased them, before hanging them on your tree or nailing them to your home. Make sure all the bulbs work and that there are no frayed wires or loose connections.



Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use. To hold lights in place, string them through hooks or insulated staples, not nails or tacks. Never pull or tug lights to remove them.



You can also prevent a lot of ladder accidents just by having someone with you helping. When climbing, keep your hips between the side rails and do not lean too far or overreach like Clark Griswold did in the image above. Reposition the ladder closer to the work instead.

This might seem like common sense, but accidents happen.

Cords, Wires, and Power Strips



Too many power strips or exposed cords are accidents waiting to happen! Use no more than three light sets on any one extension cord. Extension cords should be placed against the wall to avoid tripping hazards, but do not run cords under rugs, around furniture legs or across doorways.

However, you most certainly don’t want any exposed cords so keep your cords and lights safely concealed. Otherwise children or pets could do something stupid like chewing on those tasty Christmas lights.



Christmas Tree

When placing your tree at home, make sure to keep it far away from fireplaces, radiators or any other flammables. And certainly don’t let Uncle Louis get too close to the tree with his cigar.



Also, make sure to turn off all lights on trees and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house. Last but not least, unplug extension cords when not in use.

Safe Traveling



Traveling during the holidays can be an absolute disaster. Did you know that more than half of all traffic fatalities are alcohol or stress related? The holiday season is one of the most stressful times of the year. People get impatient and tend to increase their alcohol consumption. Use designated drivers to drive other guests home after a holiday party.

If you’re planning on driving anywhere, be aware the other stressed out drivers on the road. If you live in a colder climate, prepare your car for the winter by checking items such as the brakes, spark plugs, battery, and tires. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended interval for a tune-up. (Source:National Safety Council)

Safe Holiday Activities

There are tons of things to do during the holidays. All the way from shopping to flag football games. And if it’s a snowy holiday season, there’s the age-old pastime of sledding. The key is to be smart and don’t try and show off in front of your family and friends or you’ll end up like this:



Next Steps: Be Safe and 1 Bonus Holiday Safety Tip

The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year. But a simple oversight can ruin everything. It could be an accident or an annoying neighbor that doesn’t clean up their holiday decorations and trash. Our bonus holiday tip comes from Uncle Eddie: Clean up after yourself!



Now go enjoy your time off and have a safe and happy holiday season. As always, if you have any questions or just want to make sure you’re adequately covered, please contact us.

Wishing you a safe and joyous holiday season from all of us at Dexter & Company!

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