Posted December 15th, 2015 by Fire & Life Safety America

With the holidays fast approaching, people are looking for more ways to spread cheer throughout the season. One of the most common ways is by decorating their workspace. But doing so raises many concerns for employers with regards to workplace safety and overall staff morale.

The most important thing to think about when decorating your workspace is to have fun. After all, it is the holidays and you spend half of your waking hours at work anyway. It is important to enjoy your time there. Whether it is putting up decorations, passing out homemade treats, or listening to holiday music, the holidays are a joyous time and only come once a year and should be celebrated.

But in those celebrations there are a few things that need to be taken into account. Here is a handy list of things not to do when decorating your workspace for the holidays:

Don’t Impose Your Fun on Anyone Else

With any kind of festivities it is important to consider all neighbors in your workspace. If you use lights as part of your decorations, make sure they are mainly visible to you alone. Also make sure they are not blinking or motion lights as either may disturb your office neighbors.

Also, if you want to listen to holiday music, make sure you do it with headphones. Just because you want and are able to handle listening to music while working doesn’t mean everyone around you can. Plus, you never know if they share the same holiday traditions that you do.

Don’t Forget to Be Safe

Safety always has to be at the forefront of your thinking whether at home or at work. This is especially true during the holidays. If you are putting lights up around the office, make sure they are rated warm. Do not overload an electrical outlet or extension cord as this can lead to electrical fires. It is also important to make sure all lights are turned off at night when leaving the office.

Another area of safety concern is the potential blocking of walkways and exits. Many offices put up Christmas trees or large displays as part of their holiday decorations. It is important to make sure that no display, whether company sanctioned or personal, potentially block exit paths in the event of an emergency.

Don’t Spend Time on the Clock Decorating

Unless you are asked to work on company sanctioned decorating, do not set up your own festivities until the workday is over. Any decorations put up for your own holiday spirit needs to be done after hours. This is important for employee morale and for job security. Nobody wants to lose their job right before the holidays. But if your company has a contest for displays, then feel free to get your elf on at work.

Don’t Interfere With Fire Safety Equipment

When placing your decorations around your workspace make sure that nothing is coming into contact with fire alarms, sprinklers, or some detectors. Even something as simple as hanging a snowflake from a fire sprinkler could prove catastrophic in the event of an emergency. Placing decorations over smoke alarms or exit signs could yield disaster in the event of a fire.

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