With all of the excitement of the holidays, it can be difficult to remember safety. Your best bet is to start off safe while you’re decorating your home to prevent any misfortune over the holiday season. Above all else, remember to address these three dangers:
Falling from heights can result in some very serious injuries. Annually, hospital emergency rooms treat about 5,800 people who are injured from falls involving holiday decorations. Injuries reported include contusions, lacerations, fractures or sprains. Here are some tips to stay safe:
- Never use furniture, such as chairs or stools, as ladders.
- Follow the 1-to-4 rule for extension ladders: for every four feet the ladder rises, move the base out one foot from the structure.
- Always follow a three-point-of-contact climb: two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand.
Every year, U.S. fire departments respond to an estimated 800 home structure fires that are due to holiday decorations, excluding Christmas trees. These fires cause an average of two civilian fire deaths, 34 civilian fire injuries, and $11 million in direct property damage. Here are some tips to prevent a holiday fire:
- Always purchase lights from reputable retailers and only those approved by nationally recognized testing labs like Intertek, US or CSA.
- Inspect both outdoor and indoor lights for broken sockets, loose connections or frayed wires.
- Don’t overload outlets with too many electrical devices – this can cause a fire.
3.Candles & Décor
About 42% of holiday fires are ignited due to decorations being located too close to a heat source such as a candle or equipment. Keep these tips in mind when placing your decorations:
- Avoid using real candles if at all possible, consider using battery operated ones instead.
- Decorated mantles are beautiful, but if you do light your fireplace often, your surrounding décor is extremely flammable. Consider placing stockings and greenery somewhere else in your home, such as the staircase. Stick to solid décor on your mantle, such as ceramic or stone.
- Make sure your Christmas tree has plenty of water and it is kept far away from any heat sources.
- Keep a fire extinguisher close by.
- Make sure you have smoke detectors at least 10 feet from your stove, and test them monthly.
Your holiday décor can be beautiful and safe if you follow our decorating tips!