Citizens absolutely cannot underestimate the potential dangers created by the holidays. As you rush around trying to decorate your home in the most festive way possible, it’s easy to miss those things that could pose a hazard to your family and guests.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has explored these hazards in depth in a recent news release. In it, they point out that holiday decorating in November and December of last year alone accounted for 15,000 trips to the emergency room across the country. That number represents a steady climb from the year prior, a disturbing trend that has been apparent every year now since 2009.
As the Acting Chairman of the CPSC notes, this adds up to around 250 injuries every single day in the lead-up to the New Year. Falls contributed to over a third of all of those injuries, with lacerations making up 11%. One out of every ten injuries was the result of somebody straining their back.
Of course, one of the biggest threats at this time of the year is that posed by a fire. Oftentimes, these may result from a Christmas tree or a candle burning out of control. Candles have proven particularly deadly, as between 2009 and 2011, they are thought to have contributed to more than $300 million in property damage as well as 680 injuries and 70 fatalities. Around 200 yearly Christmas tree fires, while not as widespread as candle fires, still led to 20 injuries and ten fatalities in that same timeframe.
In a bid to see a reduction in injurious and fatal incidents, the CPSC is offering some valuable insights into how to make sure your decorating will go as safely as possible.
Yesterday, we revealed some of the ways you can ensure that your fresh Christmas tree doesn’t become a fire hazard, but you also have to be careful with an artificial tree. Fire-resistant doesn’t necessarily mean fireproof, and thus you should still keep a fake tree a sufficient distance from heat sources.
When you go about decorating the tree, make sure to take extra precautions if you have young children. They may be tempted to pull down ornaments, especially if they look like candy. Small ornaments that could be swallowed should be kept in storage, as could any breakable objects that a child might grab at and cut themselves on.
On Christmas morning, when you’re through unwrapping presents, absolutely do not toss them in the fireplace. As far as candles go, maintain supervision at all times and only place them on stable surfaces far from anything that could realistically catch fire.