A report issued this month by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) shows that consumer injuries involving holiday decorations and decorating have increased. Decorating and making your home more festive for the holiday is one of the most fun parts of the winter season, but hazards such as falls, lacerations, and fires are occurring in homes across the country, making it imperative for families to practice safety during the holidays.
The CPSC estimates that in the last 2 months of 2010, more than 13,000 people were treated in emergency rooms for injuries involving holiday decorations. Christmas tree fires caused an average of $18 million in property damage between 2006 and 2008, and $360 million in property losses occurred from candle fires. The following tips, offered by the CPSC, can help you and your family stay safe and injury-free this holiday season.
- If purchasing a live tree, check for freshness; if buying an artificial tree, make sure it is labeled as “fire resistant.”
- When setting up your tree, place it away from a heat source, such as a radiator or fireplace. Also, be wary of decorations that are sharp or breakable as they may present a danger to a small child.
Candles and Lights
- Keep any burning candle within sight, and be sure to put them out before bed or when you leave the house or even a room.
- Place candles away from things that can easily catch fire, such as curtains, and keep them on a stable surface.
- Check your holiday lights for frayed wires or broken or cracked sockets, and throw out the set if it’s damaged. In addition, check extension cords to make sure it is intended for what you want to use it for (i.e., indoor extension cords for indoor use).
- Use lights that have been tested by an independent testing laboratory.
- Do not burn wrapping paper in a fireplace as it may cause a dangerous flash fire. If using fire salts, keep them away from children as they can be very harmful if ingested.
Following these safety tips can help prevent a dangerous at home accident while you and your family are celebrating the holidays, but it unfortunately cannot protect you from another party who acts in a negligent manner. If you or loved one has been injured in any type of accident that was caused by the negligence of another party, the Omaha personal injury attorneys of Cullan & Cullan, LLC can help you receive compensation for your injuries and hold the at-fault party responsible. For a free consultation with our law team, please call (402) 397-7600. We would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season!