As soon as summer is over, it seems, folks start decorating for the holidays. Whether it’s for Christmas or Halloween, lights, yarn ornaments, and inflatables decorate our neighborhoods.
While these decorations bring joy to many onlookers, you want to make sure their fun doesn’t equate to your pain!
If you’re going to decorate for the holidays, be aware of the most common decorating snafus that lead to holiday injuries, and quick tips for avoiding them.
When Roasting Chestnuts Ends in Holiday Fires
Okay, so roasting nuts over open flames that tend to generate holiday fire injuries. It’s actually the holiday decorations themselves that lead to one of the scariest and most common incidents related to holiday decorating.
About 150 house fires begin from holiday lights every year. Christmas tree-related fires account for over 250 home fires annually.
Electrical extension cords alone cause about 4,000 injuries each holiday season, including burns and electrocutions.
When Decking the Halls Leads to Holiday Falls
As could be expected, falls during the holiday season are a common injury. This is because many people are climbing up on roofs and scaling ladders (or whatever else is nearby) to hang up lights and other decorations.
It’s not uncommon for people to reach just a tad too far, or misjudge a step on their way down, and end up in the emergency room.
Inside, falls also occur when people trip over strings of lights, decorations, and extension cords laying about.
When “Shatterproof” Tree Ornaments Don’t Live Up to Their Labels
Lacerations are surprisingly the most common holiday-related injury. Often times, this occurs when an ornament falls off a tree while decorating or undecorating, and someone cuts open a hand or foot on the pieces.
Cuts can also occur when handling broken lights or other decorations. Believe it or not, even reaching into the bottom of the box can be dangerous. Instead of finding what you’re after, you may discover sharp shards of broken decor.
When Your Christmas Tree’s Got More Than Lovely Branches
Many other injuries occur when people are cutting down, dragging home, and putting up their beloved Christmas trees.
One man suffered a severe eye injury when a branch poked him in the eye while he was setting up his tree. Others have gotten rashes from their trees or bites from bugs that were hiding among the branches.
People also hurt themselves by trying to lift a tree that is too heavy or using improper techniques when trying to carry it or install it in the stand.
Three Quick Safety Tips for Holiday Decorating
To avoid the emergency room this holiday season, there are some simple tips to help keep you and others safe while decorating.
Tip #1: Use a Ladder…Properly
If you need some help reaching something, don’t use a chair or other furniture, and use a proper ladder. And if you’re using a ladder, use it appropriately!
Make sure it is unfolded all the way and is secure on the ground. Do not try to overreach for anything or bend down for anything on a ladder.
Tip #2: Play it Safe Around Electricity
Take a close look at anything you’re plugging in to avoid electrical shock, electrocution, or a fire. If the wire looks frayed or otherwise damaged, simply toss it and don’t take the chance. Set up your wires and extension cords in a way that they do not pose a tripping hazard, too.
Tip #3: Good Posture is Key to Proper Lifting
When you’re lifting and moving around all those boxes of decorations, be sure to use proper technique so that you don’t hurt your back or cause yourself to fall. Also, be aware of your lifting technique when carrying the Christmas tree or other heavy items.
Always try to maintain a wide base of support, and squat, don’t bend. Slowly lift by pressing through your heels and straightening your legs.