Decorating the house for the holidays can be risky business.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission warns of injuries and even deaths from holiday decorating. Last year in November and December, hospital emergency rooms treated more than 14,000 injuries related to decorating. Twelve people died.
Beware of these holiday decorating dangers
According to federal statistics, 36% of holiday decorating injuries involve falls. Falling from a ladder accounts for half those incidents.
The commission also cites risk of fire from frayed lights, holiday candles and the tree itself. Between 2010 and 2012, Christmas trees led to an estimated 200 fires each year on average, causing $17 million in property loss per year.
Six people died in a house fire in Annapolis, Maryland in January caused by a tinder-dry Christmas tree. Fires sparked by holiday lights caused 10 deaths last year, according to a news release from the federal agency.
Commission staffers urge Americans to check new and old light sets for damage and discard any lights with cracked or broken sockets and frayed connections.
Broken decorations pose another hazard, leading to cuts and lacerations. Small children attracted to ‘bubble’ lights may try to break the glass and drink the liquid chemical. Parents are encouraged to keep all breakables out of a child’s reach.
The CPSC has posted holiday decoration safety tips on its website.
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