Avoiding Holiday Accidents
The holiday season is well underway and Christmas is fast approaching. Lights go up, trees fill our living rooms, and garland runs down banisters as we prepare for the holiday spirit. Bright lights and holiday décor are a great way to show off your new home! However, when putting up decorations and making your home look elegant for the holidays, be sure to be mindful of safety and aware of the implications of holiday decorating disasters. Here are some helpful tips on how to avoid those nasty holiday mishaps.
Lights can make for a wonderful display, but can be quite dangerous if hung or run improperly. Try to avoid plugging too many lights or surge protectors into wall outlets as short circuits can cause fires. Use surge protectors whenever possible to help prevent overloading the outlet itself. Consider putting a timer on your indoor or outdoor lights. Unattended, overheating lights can combust on trees and other flammable surfaces, causing damage. Make sure to check extension cords for wear and tear before using.
Make sure ladders are firmly planted when hanging lights and other overhead decorations. According to a study by the CDC, nearly 43% of treated injuries during the holiday season were ladder related. Be sure to be safe when using your ladder. Never step on or past the top rung and do not lean in either direction off the ladder to avoid having the ladder fall over. Remember to always have three points of contact with the ladder to avoid falling off the side. If you are working with someone, have them toe the ladder by placing one foot at the bottom of the ladder and stabilizing it with both hands. If working alone, consider blocking the bottom of the ladder with a wedge to help prevent it from
sliding. Make sure to let someone know that you are working from a height in case you require assistance.
Trees and Garland
Garland can liven up a home and bring the fresh smell of pine needles into the house without the attaching cold. Be sure, however, to keep hardwood floors well swept and clean. Pine needles on the hardwood act like an icy surface causing slips and falls; stairs can be especially dangerous if left to collect. An easy substitute is artificial garland, which doesn’t shed as much and reduces mess. In addition, keep live trees away from candles, heat, and other sources of open flame. Although the fireplace can be comfy and cozying, be sure to place your tree far enough away so leaping embers can’t ignite it. And just to be on the safe side, make sure that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are checked and have fresh batteries.
It’s the holiday season. Good time are in abundance and general merriment is in full swing. There is no need to let avoidable accidents be a thorn in your side during the holidays. Be smart when hanging decorations, be mindful of hazards, and most of all, enjoy the company of each other in your home. For your sake, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Stay in the holiday spirit – not the emergency room.