According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 13,000 people end up in emergency rooms around the holidays due to injuries linked to Christmas decorations. That is equivalent to roughly 200 per day.
With Christmas approaching, it can be a fun and exciting time of year to get in the holiday spirit and set up Christmas lights, decorate the Christmas tree and bake your favorite holiday treats.
With that being said, failure to plan and not having the right equipment to get the job done can lead to unplanned incidents and injury.
Everything comes with risk, and the holidays are no different. Falls, electrocution, and shorting are risks we must consider at this time of year.
Holiday decorating can be hazardous, but with proper planning and safe practices, these risks can be minimized or eliminated.
Safety Tips for Success
- Be aware of broken bulbs-these can cause shocks, fires, and cuts.
- Using the right ladder- if you decorate your home’s exterior, the type of ladder you use matters. Wood or fiberglass ladders are the best choice as metal ladders conduct electricity. This can help you avoid electrical shocks.
- Extension cords- ensure they are rated for their appropriate use. Indoor extension cords aren’t meant to be used in cold or wet environments. Also, don’t allow outdoor extension cords to sit on the ground where they can encounter damp soil, snow or ice. Instead, use a cord protector.
- Prevent tripping hazards by securing extension cords to the ground using ground staples or anchoring pins.
- Avoid overloading your outlet- this has the potential to overheat the products and possibly catch fire.
- Only plug your lights into a ground fault circuit interrupter outlet (GFCI). These outlets prevent fires by shutting the circuit down if there is too much current flowing through.
There you have it!
Having a plan and ensuring you have the right tools and equipment can save you from incidents and injury. The small steps you take before the job can save you from suffering undesirable consequences.