This time of year, homes glow with the lights of the season. However, emergency room visits are also on the rise due to personal injuries from holiday decorations. In fact, an estimated 13,000 people visited emergency rooms during the holiday season last year -- and that number is up from the previous three years.
The types of injuries vary during the holiday season, but common ones include:
- Falls from ladders while stringing lights
- Injuries from Christmas tree fires
- Cuts from broken glass ornaments
Christmas tree fires result in about 60 home fires each year, causing millions in property damage and claiming an average of four lives. Electrical faults and trees that are placed too close to heat sources cause most of these fires, but lights and unattended candles were also problems.
Both commercial and residential property owners are responsible for ensuring that their premises are reasonably free from dangers that could result in serious injuries to unsuspecting visitors.
Most property owners will decorate this holiday season, and it's important to take your responsibilities seriously and be careful. The following are some safety tips that property owners should keep in mind when decorating in order to avoid serious injuries:
- Keep trees well-watered
- Carefully place candles away from flammable materials and never leave lit candles unattended
- Check holiday light sets for broken light bulbs and frayed wires
- Only purchase artificial trees labeled "fire resistant"
- Only purchase lights tested by a nationally recognized testing laboratory
- Never burn wrapping paper in the fireplace, as these coated papers can cause flash fires
Hopefully, if Tennessee property owners follow these safety tips, they can avoid fires and other serious accidents during the holidays.