Stay Safe While Decking the Halls

Although decorative lights are great for getting your home ready for the holidays, they can also present a safety risk if they aren’t displayed and maintained properly. Here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that your home is safe during the holidays:

  • When you’re buying decorations, always check to see if the product has a label that indicates that it has been independently tested by an organization like Underwriters Laboratories.
  • Inspect all lights before you use them. If you notice any damaged cords or plugs, discard those lights immediately. Also, if you need to replace any bulbs, make sure that the lights are unplugged first.
  • Use a ladder made of nonconductive materials when you hang lights outside to reduce the risk of electrocution.
  • Check to see if your lights were designed for indoor or outdoor use. Although most decorative lights have basic waterproofing, indoor lights can present a serious risk of electrocution or fire if they’re used outside.

According to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates, there were 14,700 holiday decorating-related injuries treated in the ER last season.

Nutritional Information (per serving)

Total Calories 234
Total Fat 6 g
Protein 9 g
Carbohydrates 41 g
Dietary Fiber 9 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Sodium 167 mg
Total Sugars 10 g

Source: USDA

Curried Squash Stew


  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 celery stalk (chopped)
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 large zucchini (chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp. curry powder
  • 3 cups butternut squash (chopped)
  • 1 14.5-ounce can low-sodium tomatoes (diced)
  • 1 14.5-ounce can low-sodium chickpeas (drained, rinsed)


  1. Heat a large pot on the stove over medium heat and add oil.  Add the onion, garlic and celery, and cook about 10 minutes, until the onion is tender.
  2. Add zucchini and curry powder and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the butternut squash, tomatoes and chickpeas, and cover. Continue cooking for about 10 minutes.
  4. Serve with cooked brown rice.

Makes: 4 servings

For more information and helpful links, please download our December 2019 Live Well, Work Well Newsletter.

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This article is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to be exhaustive, nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. Readers should contact a health professional for appropriate advice.