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Holiday Injuries and Decorating Disasters

By Ephrat Livni, Esq. | Last updated on

That beautiful star for the top of the tree has ruined Christmas! Well, to be truthful it was more the rickety ladder you used to get to the top of the tree, the one that caused you to topple over and fall.

If you find yourself in the hospital emergency room from a holiday decorating injury, you will not be alone. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with consumer products, and it has some pretty surprising data on holiday decorating injuries.

Last Year's Data

According to the CPSC, during November and December 2014, there were 12 estimated fatalities and 145,000 injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms all related to holiday decorating. That amounts to an average of 240 injuries per day during the season of cheer and giving.

The consumer protection organization warns that falls, lacerations, back strains, and ingestion of foreign objects were the top reasons for injuries. Here is how the CPSC suggests you can avoid decorating disasters.

Avoid Decorating Disasters

  1. Use caution on ladders. The CPSC says that 36 percent of holiday decorating injuries are the result of falls. Half of those are falls from ladders.
  2. Check live Christmas trees for freshness. Keep them away from heat sources. Make sure to keep trees well watered.
  3. Purchase fire resistant artificial trees. Not as fun, but safe.
  4. Place lighted candles away from trees. Also be extremely wary of candles around wreaths, curtains and furniture.
  5. Examine new and old Christmas light sets for damage. Discard sets with cracked or broken sockets, frayed or exposed wires, and loose connections.
  6. Buy lights that show markings of a safety testing laboratory. Fires sparked by holiday lights caused ten deaths last year.
  7. Keep small decorations away from children. Tiny decorations make huge choking hazards. Be extremely conscious when hanging ornaments on the tree or placing decorations around the house. Also avoid trimmings that look like food or candy.
  8. Be mindful of sharp, weighted, or breakable decorations. Lacerations were the top-reported decorating-related injuries last year.

Consult With Counsel

If you do end up injured this holiday season, first see a doctor, and then, speak to a lawyer. Sometimes injuries occur due to product defects or because a product is inherently dangerous. Consulting with counsel costs is often free for the first meeting and you may find you have a claim.

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