When it comes to the holiday season, a big part of the fun is decorating your home in the spirit! Ornamenting Christmas trees and hanging lights in and around your home is so much fun for the entire family. This is also a great way to bring families and neighbors together.
Although a lot of creativity and excitement goes into the decorating process, many people get caught up in the process and overlook basic safety issues. Last year, in November and December nearly 14,000 people were sent to the hospital due to holiday-decoration related accidents. Many of these injuries were linked to falls, cuts, strains and accidental indigestion of foreign objects.
At Daggett Shuler, Winston-Salem, North Carolina attorneys, we want to ensure you and your family is as safe as possible this holiday season. While decorating your home for the holidays can be fun, please also take into consideration the risks associated with the decorations you select. Just because something looks nice does not mean it is a safe, practical idea. People can trip over cords, children may knock over candles and ornaments and fuses can easily be blown.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) wants to spread awareness to keep Americans as safe as possible during the holiday season. Please keep in mind these following tips:
- Trees. The placement of your Christmas tree is important. Never place your tree near a fireplace, radiators or other heat sources. Additionally, keep up with the maintenance of the tree by watering it on a daily basis. A well-maintained Christmas tree is less of a fire hazard than an unkempt, dry tree.
- “Snow.” A unique way to spunk up your home is to incorporate artificial snow in your decoration scheme. Although this looks appealing, it can be an irritant if swallowed, especially if there are young children around. To properly avoid injury, read labels and follow directions closely.
- Lights. Whether indoor or outside, only use lights that have been tested for safety. When you buy new lights or use ones from the previous year, check for broken bulbs, cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, and loose connections. Dispose of any damaged sets or repair before using.
- Candles. Never use lighted candles on a tree or near evergreens. Keep candles in locations where they cannot be knocked over and out of reaching distance from children. And make sure that you blow out any candles at the end of the day, so that candles are not lit when you are sleeping. Sparks can fly; candles can fall over, and can become a fire hazard. Ultimately, it is best to purchase non-flammable candles to dismiss the likelihood of a fire.
- Ornaments. Please make sure that smaller ornaments are high up enough on the tree, so that your youngsters cannot grab them, and ingest them, which could cause a choking hazard. And watch out for ornaments that break or have small parts that break off, again, could be a choking hazard for small children, or could potentially cut someone.
By keeping these essential tips in mind, you could save yourself, a family member or a friend from a trip to the hospital. Let’s keep this holiday a safe one for everyone. After all, it is the time spent with our loved ones that truly matters the most.
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