Could Your Holiday Decorations Put You at Risk for Injury?

by Carmen Dellutri on December 24, 2012

Fort Myers injury lawyerPutting up holiday decorations certainly gets everyone in the holiday spirit, but it can also lead to serious injuries. In fact, every November and December, thousands of Americans are injured as a result of falls, fires, and other incidents associated with holiday decorations.

Holiday-related accidents are also on the rise, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).  Since 2009, the estimated number of holiday decoration-related injuries has increased at a rate of 1,000 per year, from 12,000 in 2009, to 13,000 in 2010, to 14,000 in 2011.

With this in mind, we would like to share the following safety tips:

  • Use only lights that have been tested for safety by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Lights for both indoor and outdoor usage must meet strict requirements that testing laboratories are able to verify. On decorative lights available in stores, UL’s red holographic label signifies that the product meets safety requirements for indoor and outdoor usage. UL’s green holographic label, signifies that the product meets requirements for only indoor usage.
  • Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Throw out damaged sets and do not use electric lights on a metallic tree.
  • Check each extension cord to make sure it is rated for the intended use and is in good condition. Do not use cords with cuts or signs of fraying.
  • Check outdoor lights for labels showing that the lights have been certified for outdoor use, and only plug them into a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)-protected receptacle or a portable GFCI.
  • Practice ladder safety. Always select the correct ladder for the job.  That’s one that extends at least 3 feet over the roofline or working surface. Don’t use a metal ladder near power lines or electrical equipment. Stick with wood or fiberglass ladders in these situations and use extra caution.
  • Buying an artificial tree? Look for the label: “Fire Resistant.” Although this label does not mean that the tree will not catch fire, it does indicate that the tree is more resistant to catching fire.
  • Decorating a tree in homes with small children? Take special care to avoid sharp, weighted, or breakable decorations. Keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children, who could swallow or inhale small pieces. Avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may tempt a child to eat them.
  • Keep burning candles within sight. Extinguish all candles before you go to bed, leave the room, or leave the house.

The Dellutri Law Group is focused on making bad situations better and putting lives back together. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Fort Myers accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.

To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced Fort Myers injury attorneys for a free consultation.

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