Family traditions are often at the center of many holiday celebrations. Traditions often include decorating for the holidays both indoors and out. For many families, the annual tree trimming coincides with a plethora of holiday décor that is a treasured element of the holiday season. To keep everyone safe during the holiday season being aware of the dangers that surround decorating can help. Knowing the best way to hang lights or how to lift heavy boxes can make a huge difference in how you and your family spend the holidays. Staying safe to avoid accidents is the best way to ensure you and your loved ones are spending the holidays together at home and not in a hospital from a bad fall. At Greening Law, P.C., we want your holiday season to be accident-free. Read our tips on how to avoid common holiday decorating accidents.
1. Lifting Heavy Items
Christmas decorations are often bulky and heavy. Even the smallest decorations can add up to a lot of weight when they are packed into large boxes. Before you start carrying heavy boxes from the attic, basement or garage do a quick scan for safety to help to avoid holiday décor disasters. Is everything out of the way and a clear path is visible to transport boxes? Are the boxes you are carrying safely to transport? If the boxes look shabby, or not secure enough to transport, transferring items to a safer plastic tub can help avoid a pre-holiday meltdown. Before you begin carrying heavy boxes remember to bend at the knees and lift with your legs to ensure your back is safe from health issues. The holidays can quickly become a disaster with a back injury or worse, falling down the stairs because there are too many items in your way. Remember to always ask for help if the boxes are too heavy to lift.
2. Falling from a Ladder
One of the more common types of holiday decoration accidents is falling from a ladder. Using a ladder is typically a necessity for those hard-to-reach spots in the home both indoors and out. Before stepping on a ladder to hang Santa’s reindeer from the roof, going through a quick safety checklist can help avoid serious accidents. Do you have a tall enough ladder to do the job? If not, consider renting one from the local hardware store. To ensure stability, make certain that the ladder is placed on a flat, solid surface. Additionally, having an extra set of hands to hold the ladder can also provide an added layer of safety. To help avoid additional issues from a fall clearing away the clutter around the ladder can prevent landing on top of hard or sharp objects. Most importantly, trust your instincts. If the ladder feels unsafe for any reason find an alternative solution or ask for help.
3. Faulty Christmas Lights
Lights are often the center of many holiday decorations. From the Christmas tree to everything in between, lights are a beautiful addition to holiday decorations. Before you begin hanging Christmas lights checking for safety is imperative to avoid fires. Plugs that are defective and wires that are exposed can easily cause an electrical fire. In a report by the National Fire Protection Association on Home Structure Fires Involving Christmas Trees, it states the leading cause of Christmas tree fires is due to electrical failures or malfunctions. To ensure your home is safe for the holidays choose a Christmas tree that is in good health. Needles that fall when touched means the tree is too dry. If a fire were to occur, a dry tree will ignite faster. Another element of lighting décor is using Christmas lights that are specifically designed for either indoor or outdoor use. Replace any lights that are worn, broken, or with loose bulb connections. For added safety always make sure to turn off the lights before going to bed or leaving your home.
4. Fires (Candles)
Candles are a beautiful addition to your holiday decorations. They provide an ambiance that is often treasured by many. However, candles are dangerous, especially during the holiday season where Christmas trees are generally near the open flames. Thanks to technology, flameless candles are an inexpensive alternative to the real thing. If you insist on the real thing keeping candles up on the mantle or on a stable surface can help deter fires. Another great tip is setting a timer to remember to blow out the candles before leaving the home or going to bed.
5. Dangerous (but pretty) Ornaments
If you enjoy going big and bold with the holiday decorations, chances are you need a ladder to trim the tree and to hang decorations. When using a ladder to hang decorations, make sure to use a safe, stable ladder and not an unstable piece of furniture. One of the biggest mistakes people make when hanging ornaments during the holidays is forgoing a safe option for a more convenient option. Balancing on top of stacked chairs could quickly turn into a holiday disaster. Always make common sense at the center of your annual holiday decorating.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident due to neglectful holiday decorating, you may have options for compensation. Contact personal injury attorney, Robert Greening for help.
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