Every holiday season, emergency rooms across the country are filled with people suffering from falls, lacerations, and back strains. During the 2017 season, there were 120 injuries attributed to decorating per day during the holiday season of November and December.
The holidays should be spent with family and friends – and not in the ER. Here are some tips, courtesy of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, to keep you safe while decorating this year:
1. Take care with fragile and paper decorations
Sharp, weighted, and breakable decorations can cause lacerations – one of the top reported decoration-related injuries in 2014. Paper decorations should be kept away from heat sources, or non-combustible paper can be used instead.
2. Use safe lights
Purchase holiday light sets that bear the marking of a safety testing laboratory. Make sure light strands have no broken sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Securely fasten lights to trees, houses, or walls and never overburden extension cords or power strips. Fires caused by lights resulted in 10 deaths in 2014.
3. Keep burning candles in sight
Candles should be kept where you can see them and away from places where kids and pets could reach them. Lit candles should never be near items that could catch on fire. Candles caused 80 deaths and 650 injuries between 2010 and 2012.
4. Aim for fire resistance
If you are opting for an artificial tree, make sure the label indicates it is fire resistant.
If you are opting for a real tree, make sure the tree is fresh. To tell if it is fresh, the tree is green, the needles do not break when bent, and a shower of needles do not fall when the tree is bounced on the ground. Keep real trees well-watered and away from heat sources such as fireplaces and radiators.
5. Be cautious on ladders
Thirty-six percent of holiday decorating injuries involve falls – half of these incidents occur on ladders. Hundreds of people fall from ladders each year when hanging decorations for the holidays.
Have someone hold the bottom of the ladder for you, make sure the ladder is on level and firm ground, and do not stand on the ladder’s top step or bucket shelf.
6. Use age appropriate decorations for children
If you have a small child, avoid sharp or breakable decorations. Also, keep trimming s and small removable parts well out of reach of children as they can swallow or inhale the small pieces.
If you or a loved one have been severely injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our experienced injury lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to evaluate you claim. Catastrophic and serious injuries can cause you immense pain, put you out of work, and cause you financial harm. We can help you get back on your feet by advancing you court costs and medical costs.
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