Whether your family goes for a lighter touch when it comes to Christmas decorations, or you prefer to turn your home into a true Winter Wonderland, safety should always be your biggest priority when dealing with Christmas trees, ornaments, and lights. At Dudley DeBosier, our Louisiana personal injury lawyers know that injuries can occur anytime, anywhere, and Christmas decorations—and the act of putting them up—are a common source of serious accidents and mishaps.
From falls off unstable ladders, to tripping over errant power cords, and to fires started by faulty Christmas lights, the holiday season isn’t always full of cheer, especially when the right precautions aren’t followed. The holidays should be a time of giving and thankfulness—not hospital visits and big medical bills. Thankfully, protecting yourself, your loved ones, and your home this holiday season is as simple as following a few “Dos” and Don’ts” when buying and putting up your decorations.
6 Christmas Decoration Dos and Don’ts
When decorating the inside and outside of your home this holiday season, DO:
- Secure the area around your Christmas tree—Christmas trees are irresistible to pets and small children. Children may try to push over or pull on trees, while pets—especially cats—like to climb their way to the top, knocking off ornaments and lights with each step. At best, you’ll end up with a bent tree after your child gets ahold of it, and at worst, you may end up with a toppled tree, a big mess, and even serious injuries if the tree lands on someone or someone steps on a broken ornament. To prevent this, secure your tree with a safety gate and keep it away from furniture.
- Double check lights before hanging them—Whether you’ve just purchased brand-new lights, or you’re using lights that have decorated your house and tree for years, it’s important to check them every season before hanging them up. Lights can degrade over time, or they can become damaged by elements, pets, and general wear and tear. Worn lights may have exposed wires or faulty covering, which can create the risk of electrical shock and even fires.
- Use a surge protector for electrical decorations—Between Christmas tree lights, electric candles, light-up wreaths, train sets, and other wired decorations, you may need to use all of your outlets this holiday season. When plugging in decorations, be sure to use high-quality surge protectors. In addition to providing you with more outlets, surge protectors can also protect your home’s wiring, your decorations, and your home itself from damage due to overloaded circuits.
In addition to following those tips, make sure you:
- Don’t create a trip hazard with wires and cables—Lighting the inside and outside of your home can result in a jumbled mess of wires and cables. Those cords aren’t just unsightly—they can also be dangerous when they’re in the middle of walkways. When hanging lights outdoors, make sure to run them along gutters, eaves, and natural lines of your home to power sources to keep them tidy and safe. Indoors, place Christmas trees, lights, and other wired gadgets near electrical outlets to minimize visible wires and to reduce the risk of you, your family, and your guests tripping and falling.
- Don’t use a ladder that isn’t balanced and secured—One of the most dangerous parts of decorating your home for Christmas is working on a ladder. Whether you’re putting up wreaths, Christmas lights, or even a festive reindeer display on the roof, test your ladder before you climb up. In addition to making sure it’s in good working condition, you should also ensure that it’s placed on a solid, stable, and level surface. For added safety, have someone hold onto the base of the ladder to help stabilize it while you climb up or down.
- Don’t place your Christmas tree near a space heater or furnace—The National Fire Protection Association says that around 160 home fires are started every year because of Christmas trees. One-quarter of those fires were due to trees being too close to heat sources, including candles, heaters, and fireplaces. Even non-flammable synthetic trees and well-watered live trees can be fire hazards when exposed to significant heat or open flames, so be sure to keep yours well away from potential fire hazards.
Injured During the Holidays? We Want to Help.
The holidays are supposed to be a joyous and relaxing time. But for many Louisianans, they’re a painful and uncertain time when they suffer severe injuries caused by accidents. At Dudley DeBosier, our Louisiana injury lawyers help people who were injured through no fault of their own, whether it’s Christmas, the Fourth of July, or any day in-between.
If you or someone you love was hurt through another person or party’s negligence, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your accident-related expenses, and it’s our goal to help you get the money you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation. We’ll be available to answer your questions every step of the way.
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