Decking the halls for the upcoming holiday season can quickly become dangerous, according to a news release from Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s office. Caution and planning can help avoid unnecessary accidents and injuries.

“It is important that we make personal safety a priority, even during the happy holiday planning,” Rutledge said. “Accidents happen, but many are preventable. Small mistakes that we may consider insignificant, can lead to dangerous problems through carelessness. Most accidents are avoidable by taking extra time during preparations.”

Rutledge released the following tips for Arkansans planning to hang lights this holiday season:

• Select lights with labels indicating they have been safety tested by independent laboratories.

• Check each set of lights. Look for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires or loose connections. Discard or repair them, if necessary, before use.

• When using lights outdoors, make sure they are certified for outdoor use and are securely fastened to protect against damaging winds.

• Only use insulated staples or hoods to affix lights. Never use nails or tacks.

• Do not use more than three standard-sized sets of lights per extension cord, and ensure that each extension cord is rated for the intended use.

• Always turn off or unplug lights when you go to bed or leave your home.

• Never use electric lights on a metallic tree.

• Never leave a candle unattended and keep them on a stable surface and away from items that can burn easily, like trees, decorations, curtains and furniture.

• Use caution when climbing ladders and make sure all locks are properly engaged, keep your body near the middle of the step and face the ladder while climbing. Avoid using the top step of the ladder unless it was designed of that purpose.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates more than 14,500 emergency room visits for falls, lacerations and back strains while decorating for the holidays. Meanwhile, fires are also a concern with burning candles and fresh Christmas trees that are not properly watered.

For more information about other common scams and consumer-related issues, call the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at 800-482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.