The holidays are here! For many people that means it’s time to take a break from work and spend time with the people you care about the most in your life. However, for many New Yorkers, the holidays make for a very busy time of the year, too. Due to all this rushing, it’s a season of the year in which people tend to get injured. What a way to usher in the holidays.
To help you avoid common festive injuries, here are some of the most frequent holiday decorating injuries you should be careful to avoid.
Injuries Due to Falls
Holiday decorations can be difficult to put up, which is one way that decorating connects to fall injuries. But it’s also many of the decorations themselves that can lead to slip and fall accidents for you or those that visit your house for the holiday season.
You should avoid using Christmas lights, garlands, extension cords, or any other type of decoration to run over staircases or over the floor. You also may want to avoid any decorations that sit on the ground and clutter up space, reducing available paths to walk.
Endeavor to keep all walkways and exits free from clutter and decorations, including the outdoor walkways leading up to your home. Keep your pathways well lit for guests, too!
It’s a good idea to refrain from putting up decorations that place you in dangerous situations, such as stringing lights across your roof. Keep in mind that falls are the number one way people become injured during the holidays, so it’s best to hire professional help or install lower decorations to avoid creating an environment where falls can occur more frequently.
Lacerations are another very common holiday decorating injury for New Yorkers. When you open up any old boxes filled with decorations, look inside with a flashlight first to make sure no glass has broken. Any fragile items could have become damaged or shattered in the past year. You can avoid lacerations by making sure decorations are in one piece before you handle anything. It’s always a safe idea to store any fragile decorations in a labeled box separately from other decorations.
How long have you been holding onto those holiday lights of yours? The truth of the matter is that, if you have the type of electrical decoration that is damaged, frayed, faulty, or old, then you put yourself at risk for electric shock.
All lights and cords for your decorations should be examined before each use. Also, you should refrain from overloading the circuit breakers in your home.
Never put up lights outside that aren’t rated for the outdoors. Don’t plug in holiday lights near spilled or melted water. Before leaving home or going to sleep, unplug everything. This way, you can prevent electrical shocks as well as burns and electrical fires.
Many Christmas and Hanukkah decorations involve candles, which pose their own risk. In fact, house fires are often started by holiday decorations in the home. They are a major concern each year.
You should keep decorations away from heat sources in your home, and handle decorations carefully to avoid burns. Keep candles out of reach of children. Replace open flames with electric versions when possible to help reduce the risk of injury to yourself, your guests, and your home.