Following Halloween, the Christmas season officially starts on November 1st. People start decorating for the holidays from Thanksgiving through to Christmas and New Year’s. To celebrate this joyous season, Christmas trees are set up, wreaths are hung, yard decorations are placed, lights are strewn over the house and landscape, and menorahs are lit. Exercising caution can help prevent common injuries, but decorating has hidden risks that should be considered.
Rushing to Get Things Done Takes a Toll
Almost everyone finds the holiday season the busiest time of year. People are rushing to complete work assignments before the end of the year while also balancing holiday shopping, event planning, family visits, decorating, baking, and a host of other activities. Some people rush through their decorating as quickly as possible due to a lack of time. However, decorating in a hurry can result in shortcuts and safety risks, resulting in minor or serious injury.
Keep Safety in Mind When Decorating
Christmas lights are a popular Christmas tradition, but they also present a very real risk to people’s health and safety. Plugging in lights that are old or with frayed wires can result in electrical shorts that can start house fires or cause serious injury from electrocution. To avoid a short circuit, never connect more than 210 watts worth of light strings at once. These are less obvious safety precautions to follow, but they can help you stay safe throughout the holidays.
While candles are a common year-round home decoration, they are also popular for the holidays. It takes only a heartbeat for a candle placed next to a dry Christmas tree to become a catastrophe. Blow out candles before leaving the room and keep them away from the Christmas tree and anything combustible. In November and December of each year from 2016 to 2018, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission found that there were approximately 100 Christmas tree fires and approximately 1,100 candle fires. This led to 30 fatalities, 180 injuries, and annual property losses of around $56 million. While one may believe they won’t experience this, it is wise to rule out any possibilities. Water the tree frequently to prevent drying out and creating a fire hazard. Do not leave a menorah burning unattended if you celebrate Hanukkah. To prevent it from tipping over, place the menorah on a strong surface. Candles and menorahs should be kept out of pets’ and kids’ reach. A house fire caused by a candle or decoration is one of the worst things that could happen.
Unfortunately, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 18,000 Americans are treated in emergency rooms each year for injuries brought on by Christmas decorations. Decorating-related lacerations, strains and sprains, fractures, contusions and abrasions, and ingestion were the most frequent injuries seen in the emergency room. Be careful when decorating your home this year to avoid going to the emergency room for any reason.
Do You Need Help?
Holiday decorating should be a joyful family activity that gets everyone in the holiday spirit. Please keep these helpful decorating suggestions in mind to avoid any serious injury during the holidays this year. While we hope this never happens, if you are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence or a defective product, please contact Cunnane Law. Our personal injury lawyers are here to assist you with your case and provide free consultations.
Note: This information was provided not for any specific claim and is written in broad and general terms and may not be the right path to follow for a particular claim or case. This information is not intended to create an attorney client relationship. It is always best to receive direct legal counsel for your legal issues. It is never too early to call the attorney, but it can be too late.