It’s here! The holiday season is upon us. Many of us, if we haven’t already, will begin taking out our lights, ornaments, wreaths, garland, trees, and stockings to adorn our houses, hallways, and doors with the staples of the season. Unfortunately, this yearly tradition can be dangerous and end tragically. In 2014, twelve deaths were attributed to holiday decorations. Additionally, there were 14,500 injuries treated in hospitals across the United States during the months of November and December that were attributed to holiday decorations. Common injuries included falls, lacerations, back strains, and ingestion of foreign objects. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has assembled a list of 12 Ways to Celebrate Safely in hopes that the number of injuries and deaths due to holiday decorating will significantly decline.
12 Ways to Celebrate Safely
- FOLLOW DIRECTION WHEN WORKING WITH ARTIFICIAL SNOW
- Artificial snow can cause serious irritation to the lungs if inhaled. Be sure to read directions carefully before decorating with artificial snow.
- TAKE SPECIAL CARE WITH SHARP, WEIGHTED, OR BREAKABLE DECORATIONS.
- These items can cause lacerations that can range from scratches to severed limbs. Act with extra car and caution when handling these items while decorating, especially when standing on a ladder.
- AVOID TRIMMINGS THAT RESEMBLE FOOD OR CANDY
- Small children can be confused and ingest decorative items that they mistake for food or candy. This is an accident that can result in injury or even death caused by poisoning or choking.
- PLACE DECORATIONS WITH SMALL REMOVABLE PARTS THAT CAN POSE A CHOKING HAZARD TO YOUNG CHILDREN OUT OF REACH.
- Just like decorations that can be taken for food, small objects that are within reach of inquisitive young children can pose a choking and/or poisoning hazard. Be sure to keep all small decorative items out of reach of young children.
- PURCHASE ONLY HOLIDAY LIGHTS THAT BEAR THE MARKING OF A SAFETY TESTING LABORATORY.
- Last year, fires sparked by holiday lights caused 10 deaths. Help keep your holiday season free of tragedy by purchasing safety tested lights.
- EXAMINE NEW AND OLD LIGHT SETS FOR DAMAGE
- Light sets with cracked or broken sockets, frayed or exposed wires, and loose connections pose a fire hazard. Throw them away.
- KEEP BURNING CANDLES IN SIGHT AND OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN OR PETS
- Between 2010 and 2012, candles were the source of an estimated 6,500 residential fires annually, resulting in 80 deaths, 650 injuries, and $237 million in property loss per year.
- PLACE LIGHTED CANDLES AWAY FROM ITEMS THAT CAN CATCH FIRE
- Flammable items such as trees, other evergreens, decorations, curtains, and furniture can ignite if you aren’t careful about the placement of burning candles. Do not sacrifice safety for holiday ambiance.
- MAKE SURE THAT YOUR ARTIFICIAL TREE HAS AN AUTHENTIC “FIRE RESISTANT” LABEL.
- You should also check live trees for freshness. Dryed out trees are quite flammable. A few reminders about fresh trees include: 1.A fresh tree is green. 2. Fresh needles are hard to pull from branches. 3.When bent between your fingers, fresh needles do not break. 4. The trunk butt of a fresh tree is sticky with resin. 5. When the trunk of a tree is bounced on the ground, there is no shower of falling needles.
- PLACE LIVE CHRISTMAS TREES AWAY FROM HEAT SOURCES AND KEEP TREES WELL WATERED
- Between 2010 and 2012, an annual average of 200 fires were caused by Christmas trees, resulting in 10 deaths, 20 injuries, and $17 million in property loss per year.
- USE EXTREME CAUTION ON LADDERS!
- Thirty-six percent of holiday decorating injuries involve falls and ladders are the cause of about half of these incidents.
These Ladder Safety 101 tips are very helpful in preventing falls this holiday season.
- START WITH SAFETY IN MIND
- The holidays should be a time to enjoy family and friends and the giving spirit of the season. Don’t let a preventable accident darken your holidays with an injury (or worse). A comprehensive safety guide can be on the CPSC website here.
Here at Messa & Associates, we wish you a happy and safe holiday season. Follow these recommendations to avoid any unnecessary personal injury this joyful time of year.
New Jersey and Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys
The Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at Messa & Associates are experienced at handling personal injury cases involving serious injuries resulting from defective products. Our extremely skilled team of personal injury attorneys and medical experts is dedicated to ensuring you receive proper compensation for your personal injuries. If you have been injured by a defective product, or have endured any other type of personal injury, contact the personal injury attorneys at Messa & Associates for a free consultation. Call toll free at 1-877-MessaLaw, or submit a free online inquiry.