Decorating, whether at home or in the workplace, adds to the joy of the holiday season. United Alliance Services would like to offer these 15 holiday safety tips for decorating and 15 safety gift ideas. Use indirect lighting for your decorations. Indirect lighting provides illumination to the surrounding areas, illuminating above the horizon surface and preventing excessive brightness and contrast.Do NOT use electric lights on metallic trees. A “color wheel” illuminating a metallic tree offers a safe alternative.Examine tree lights carefully. Look for broken or frayed wires or loose connections. Do NOT attempt to repair. Discard. The minimal cost of replacement is small compared to the increased risk of fire from damaged wiring.Do NOT use candles or open flames in the workplace or at home near flammable holiday decorations. Never leave a lit candle unattended. Consider flameless candles.Extension cords present potential hazards. If extension cords are used be sure they are in good working condition. The extension cord wire should be equal to or larger than the wire you plug into it. Use a heavy-duty cord if you are in doubt. Keep all cords out of the line of traffic. NEVER tack or staple an extension cord. Do NOT dangle an extension cord from counters or table tops where they can be pulled or tripped over. Cover any unused outlets with electrical tape (or safety closures) to prevent the chance of a child making contact with a live circuit.Keep all holiday lights OFF when there is no one around to keep a check on them.Be sure outside lights are designed for exterior use.Place workplace decorations away from exit corridors. Do NOT obstruct the view of Exit Signs, Fire Alarm Pull Stations, Fire Extinguishers or hose cabinets. At home, keep decorations away from doorways and stairways.Use artificial greenery that is made of fire retardant materials. Be sure all materials are either noncombustible, inherently flame retardant (READ THE LABELS) or have been treated with a flame retardant solution by a licensed treatment vendor.If you are decorating with live plants or greenery, be aware of which plants are poisonous and should be kept out of the reach of curious children and pets. Some poisonous holiday plants include: Mistletoe, Boston and English Ivy, and Holly berries, to name a few. Poinsettias are NOT poisonous, contrary to past reports. The Poison control number is: 1-800-POISON-1 (1-800-764-7661).Stay stress-free during the holiday season by saving your low-pressure tasks for the end of the day. This will allow you to unwind easier.Stretch to relax! Stretching releases tension.Breathe. Blow out all the air in your lungs and then slowly breathe in through your nose. Repeat six times and you will feel a sense of calm.Exercise. When you make time to exercise, even just 10 minutes, your body will fell better and you will feel better about yourself.Worried about putting on extra pounds during the holiday season? Try carrying around a 10 or 20 pound weight for a day and see the impact it has on your body. Most of us carry at least that much weight in excess fat but actually carrying weights will be an incentive to exercise and watch those holiday treats.How about giving someone a gift of safety?Fire ExtinguisherBike HelmetFlashlightSmoke Detectors and batteriesKeyboard Wrist SupportSafety WhistleEarthquake Preparedness KitEar Plugs and Safety GlassesFirst Aid KitCarbon Monoxide Detectors and batteriesReflective Clothing for outdoor exercise enthusiastsAuto Emergency Kit with FlaresFlameless CandlesHand SanitizerSecond Floor escape ladderThe team of United Alliance Services Corporation would like to wish you and your staff and family a safe holiday season and a prosperous 2014!