Keep your family safe this holiday season by decorating safely. While it seems harmless, holiday decorating around the home or office can be dangerous. Use these tips to stay safe:
Check Your Wires Before Hanging Lights
Electrical fires are hard to catch because they smolder rather than burst into flame. Frayed or exposed wires can also present a severe shock hazard for anyone who could handle the line of lighting. While you’re untangling your lights, carefully run your hand along the green or white cords. If you feel any nicks, indents or frays in the light’s cord, throw it out.
Use Ladders Properly
When working with ladders, there are a few key rules to follow. First, always keep three points of contact on the ladder- both feet and at least one hand. Second, never climb up a ladder alone. Always have someone home that could contact emergency services if you fell. Finally, if you’re working with electrical materials (such as Christmas lighting), then use a fiberglass or wooden ladder.
Keep Trees Away from Heat Sources
The idea that Christmas trees can burst into flame from being too dry isn’t just a legend. The United States still has many house fires every year because dry trees or artificial trees were left near heat sources. Heat sources can include fires, candles, and electric heaters.
Many fake trees claim to be fire-resistant. If you had a house fire caused by a fake tree, contact a Birmingham personal injury attorney as there may be some liability on the manufacturer if the tree didn’t meet certain standards.
Don’t Burn Wrapping Paper
It’s readily available, it’s paper, and it burns, so why shouldn’t you use it in your fireplace? The foil, dyes, and grade of paper that’s used when making wrapping paper make it excellent for flash fires. A flash fire means that it starts almost immediately, burns at incredibly fast speeds, and spreads quickly as well. Stay safe and recycle your paper instead.
Consider “Child-Safe” Ornaments
Ornaments that look like food pose a few dangers if your children aren’t old enough to keep things out of their mouths. But other dangers such as glass ornaments or heavily weighted ornaments can fall from the tree and result in lacerations or bruising.
Water Your Tree
Getting a real tree doesn’t mean you have to wait until the week before Christmas, simply keep the tree well hydrated by watering it daily.
Turn the Lights Off
Even if you use energy-efficient and low-heat emitting LED bulbs, you need to turn the lights off. Consider investing in a timer for the outlet, so you don’t have to worry about shutting the lights off every night.
Choose Battery-Operated Candles
Candles are a serious fire hazard, and many people allow their candles to burn all night during the holiday season. Never leave an open flame unattended. But, to achieve the effect of slow-burning candles through your home, choose a battery-operated candle.
Research Your Outdoor Decorations
Not all lighting is made for outdoor use. The wires, plugs, and even types of LEDs can impact whether that string of lights is safe for using outdoors or not. Additionally, blow-up decorations and lawn decorations may not be “all-weather” safe.
When setting up your outdoor decorations, be sure that your using lighting, extension cords, and power connectors that are safe for outdoor and all-weather use. Then only plug them into outdoor outlets that have weather boxes to protect the plug and your house from potential fire or electrical injuries.
Use Light Clips
Although light clips have been around for a long time, many people still choose to staple or nail in their lights. If you’re working around the eaves of your home, not only do staples and nails do damage to your home, but they also create an environment conducive to electric shock.
Plastic light clips, however, allow you to see what you’re doing with the lights on while carefully handling them. It’s also a great way to ensure that you don’t injure yourself or create an electric shock risk for anyone who plugs the lights in.
Stay Safe with Any Type of Decorations
The holidays are a time for celebration, so make sure that you keep yourself and your family out of the emergency room. Electrical shock and house fires are commonplace because of holiday decorating. Always handle decorations with care. In the event of an injury, contact Hare Wynn law offices to contact a personal injury attorney in Birmingham.
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