US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association

Are you keeping workplace safety and health in mind as you prepare for the holidays? Decorating the workplace adds to the joy of the approaching holiday season; however, it is important to keep in mind a few things as you spruce up your work environment:

Fire Safety:

  • Live trees quickly become dry and are a fire hazard. Most trees will last about 14 days. You may want to take a live tree down before people leave for holidays.
  • Make certain that decorative materials are non-combustible, inherently flame retardant or treated with flame retardant solution.
  • Examine individual tree lights for broken or frayed wires or loose connections. Discard the lights immediately if these conditions are found.
  • No decorative materials are permitted in exit corridors, nor placed in such a manner as to obstruct view of exit signs, fire alarm pull stations, fire extinguishers or hose cabinets.
  • All hanging decorations must have at least 18 inches of clearance from sprinkler heads and never hang decorations from a sprinkler head.
  • Avoid the use of open flames and candles as decorations in the workplace.
  • Remember to check your workplace’s smoke detector batteries.

Extension Cords:

  • Use of extension cords is discouraged. When used for temporary purposes make sure they are in good condition.
  • Never tack or staple extension cords to the wall or woodwork—it could damage the cord insulation and become a fire hazard.

Fall Prevention:

  • Never stand on a chair or a desk when hanging decorations. Always use a proper step stool or ladder.
  • Make sure cords do not dangle from counters and table tops where they can be pulled or tripped over.

For further assistance regarding this topic, UVICELL Safety in Paradise can help small and medium-sized employers by providing free OSHA On-Site Consultation Services. To learn more about this free and confidential safety and occupational health program, visit:

Please don’t hesitate to contact us directly with safety and health questions, to schedule a consultation, or with any other safety and occupational health concerns at our Safety in Paradise office at We look forward to helping you!