Common Holiday Decorating InjuriesJanuary 14, 2019
With the holidays comes lots of holiday decorating. According to the CPSC, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, over 18,000 people are seen for injuries sustained while holiday decorating during the last two months of the year.
While holiday decorating may seem like a harmless activity, certain decorations are more dangerous than others and can result in holiday accidents that cause serious injuries and in some cases death. Three of the most common and problematic Christmas decorations known to cause holiday accidents include:
Each of these decorations brings its own risks to cause serious holiday accidents, but if proper precautions are taken, you can have your decorations and an injury free holiday too.
- Risks: Sure they look great and seem easy enough to get up but hanging holiday lights is one of the most dangerous decorating activities because of the possibility of severe injury from falling or electrocution. Hanging outdoor lights often requires the use of a ladder to reach rooftops, which increases the risk of falling. According to the CPSC, 38% of holiday injuries in 2016 involved falls, including two deaths. Additionally, light strands can easily fray or have faulty circuits which can cause electrocution.
- Safety Tips: First, if using a ladder to put up holiday lights, make sure the ladder is reliable and follow ladder warnings. Ensure the ladder is placed on solid ground and have another person hold the bottom. To prevent electrocution, check each strand of lights for exposed wires, broken lights, or cracked sockets and throw out damaged strands—do all of this while they are not plugged in, of course. If using the lights outside, make sure the lights are approved for outdoor use.
- Risks: The most common risk associated with Christmas trees is fire. Trees, both real and artificial, can easily catch fire and cause harm to both people and property. Another risk involves the actual ornaments—ornament placement can lead to falls and the ornaments themselves can cause holiday decorating injuries, such as cuts or choking.
- Safety Tips: There are several simple ways to limit the danger of a Christmas tree. If buying a live tree, make sure the tree is green and fresh—if the needles break off easily when touched, the tree is too dry. If buying an artificial tree, ensure it is fire resistant. Place the tree away from heat sources, such as fireplaces or radiators. Avoid sharp ornaments and use caution when decorating with glass ornaments—broken glass ornaments can cause serious cuts. Lastly, avoid decorating with ornaments small enough to fit in a child’s mouth.
- Risks: Candles are frequently used in holiday decorating. While they can be both beautiful and fragrant, candles can easily become dangerous. If left unattended and in the wrong spot, a candle can cause fires or burns, especially if left within reach of children.
- Safety Tips: Preventing candle related injuries is quite easy. Keep burning candles within sight. If you leave the house or go to bed, make sure all holiday candles are extinguished. Make sure lit candles are not placed near flammable objects—real candles should never be used on Christmas trees. Always make sure burning candles are out of the reach of small children.
If you have initiated a lawsuit surrounding injuries sustained from a holiday accident but worry about your ability to keep up with all of your expenses, call USClaims.
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