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Holiday Decorations: Joyous and DANGEROUS!

The holiday season may be awfully pretty, with the decorations in and out of our homes, but did you know that many decorations come with some serious dangers?

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), close to 13,000 people are treated in emergency rooms across the nation for injuries sustained while putting up lights around the house each and every year. These injuries include falls, shocks and cuts.
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Our Vero Beach injury attorneys understand that Christmas trees come with some serious dangers too, to you, your family, your home and those around you. The CPSC reports that these lighted trees cause about 300 fires each year, causing at least 10 fatalities, another 30 injures and more than $10 million in property damages and loss.

In addition to these accidents, there are another 12,000 resulting from candles. These little lights of glory wind up killing close to 200 people, injuring more than 1,000 and costing more than $170 million in proper damage and loss. One of the easiest ways to prevent these kinds of accidents is to make sure that each candle is in a nonflammable holder.

“Sometimes people are having such a nice time during the holidays that they forget to extinguish candles,” said Hal Stratton, Chairman of the CPSC.

Tips for a Safe Holiday:

Trees:

-Make sure that artificial trees are labeled “fire resistant.” This means that the tree will resist burning, not that it won’t catch on fire.

-Choose the freshest tree. Needles should be tough to pluck from the branch. The trunk should also be sticky.

-Make sure you place your Christmas tree away from sources of heat. Don’t place it near anything flammable and keep it out of exit ways.

-Use thin guy-wires to secure large trees to the walls or to the ceiling of your home. Don’t worry! These wires are almost invisible!

Lights:

-Use lights where directed by manufacturer (indoor/outdoor).

-Check each strand of lights before using. Check for cracks or frays in the wiring.

-Never connect more than three strands together.

-Don’t put lights on metallic trees.

-When fastening down lights, use hooks instead of staples to avoid piercing the wires.

-Be careful when removing them. Never yank or tug.

Decorations:

-Never put candles near a tree or near any other flammable objects.

-Keep candles away from children and from pets.

-When using “angel hair” to decorate, make sure you wear gloves.

-Make sure you follow the directions when hanging or spraying artificial snow decorations.

Have a plan! If something should happen, like a fire, have an escape plan set out for your family. Know how to get out, where to meet and who to contact. Review this policy with your family today!

We all want to make this holiday season a beautiful one. Let’s all do our part to make sure it’s a safe one, too! Be extra careful around these decorations. Happy Holidays!

If you or a family member has been injured in a holiday accident, contact Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC. Call today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights at 1-800-561-7777.

More Blog Entries:

Defective Products Threatening Your Family’s Safety?, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, November 14, 2012

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