Deck the Halls, But Don’t Get Hurt!
According to the U.S. Product Safety Commission, there are approximately 15,000 injuries during the months of November and December resulting directly from holiday decorating activities. Since 2009, there were an estimated 12,000 emergency room visits due to falls from ladders, broken ornaments, house fires, and other common decorating accidents. At The Pendas Law Firm, our Miami personal injury lawyers encourage you to be safe this holiday season, and to implement safety precautions when decorating your home for the holidays.
Seven Tips to Keep in Mind When Decorating for the Holidays
The last place you want to be during the holidays is the hospital. Fortunately, you can avoid the hospital and any decorating injuries by implementing these seven tips when decking your halls:
- Hire out if possible. If you can afford to do so, hire a professional to come and hang your lights for you, and any other decorations you want in hard to reach places or outside of your home. Handymen and decorating companies often hire out their services for the holidays to help homeowners decorate in those hard or dangerous to reach places.
- Know your limitations. Avoid back injuries by knowing how much you are physically capable of lifting and not exceeding that amount. You may be tempted to haul as many boxes of decorations down from the attic at once, or several gift packages in one trip, but do not do so. Making a few extra trips up and down the attic stairs is much less stressful than making a trip to the hospital two days before Christmas. Also, do not climb ladders if you are afraid of heights, suffer from vertigo, or have balance issues. Make sure to avoid ladders if you are taking blood thinners or any other medications that increase your risk of bleeding. You do not want to risk losing a lot of blood simply because you were trying to get Santa and his sleigh just right on your roof.
- Watch the weather. It is extremely important that you keep an eye on the weather before and during decorating. Windy weather, freezing cold temperatures, rain, and thunderstorms are all bad news for DIY decorators, and can result in serious, life-threatening injuries if not accounted for. You do not want to find yourself on your roof when a huge gust of wind comes along, or when a bolt of lightening strikes down.
- Practice Ladder Safety. A majority of holiday decorating injuries involve a fall from a ladder. To avoid becoming a statistic, choose a ladder that is long enough for the job and that can support your weight, make sure the ladder is only placed on firm ground, and set up the ladder at a 75 degree angle. Do not place the ladder in front of any doors or power lines, and always make sure there is someone else around to hold the base.
- Inspect your lights. Burnt out bulbs, frayed wires, and loose connections all result in house fires and electrocutions. Always inspect your lights before hanging them, and especially before plugging them in.
- Mind where you place your candles. Open flames from candles and fireplaces are the leading cause of house fires during the holidays. Before lighting a candle, make sure that there is no greenery – such as a Christmas tree or garland – around first. Inspect the area for tinsel, curtains, and other common household decorations that may drape into the flame upon a breeze or other slight movement.
- Keep your Christmas tree watered. Dry Christmas trees also account for a large number of house fires in Miami, as the heat from the bulbs creates enough friction when paired with the dry limbs to draw a spark. Do not let your tree dry out by watering it daily.
Seek Advice From Our Miami Personal Injury Law Firm
At The Pendas Law Firm, our Miami personal injury lawyers have handled many cases involving holiday injuries. While many are strictly accidents, many more are due to defective wiring, mislabeling, poor construction, and other problems stemming from manufacturing. If you sustained an injury while decorating, and if you feel that the decoration itself was at fault, you may have grounds for a product liability claim. For an evaluation of your case, contact our Miami product liability lawyers at 1-888-LPENDAS today.
The Pendas Law Firm also serves clients in the Jacksonville, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, West Palm Beach, Daytona, Bradenton, and Fort Myers areas.