The holidays are here and that often means additional outdoor tasks like hanging colorful Christmas lights. It’s a tradition that many go to great lengths to participate in, but sometimes that can result in serious injury. No one wants to start the holiday season off with a Christmas-related injury. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), approximately 5,800 individuals are treated annually in emergency rooms for injuries related to holiday decorating falls and more than half of those falls were from falling from ladders or roofs while decorating outdoors. Additionally, roughly 4,000 people a year are treated in emergency rooms for injuries involving extension cords that result in fractures, lacerations, contusions, or sprains from tripping over the cords. Follow these tips to help keep your injury-free this holiday season.
- If hanging outdoor lighting, use lights for outdoor use. Indoor lights have thinner insulation, which can become damaged when exposed to the elements resulting in a fire hazard.
- Just as you should use appropriate outdoor lights, your extension cord should also be for outdoor use with three-prong plugs. Never, ever use an indoor extension cord outdoors. If it is necessary to run extension cords along the ground, be sure to elevate plugs and connectors with something like a rock to keep snow, water, and debris out of the connectors. Also, to avoid a tripping hazard keep them out of heavily-trafficked areas.
- When using a ladder to hang lights, inspect the area before climbing on the ladder. Is the ground too wet or too unstable? If yes, then it is best to find a different area. Before climbing the ladder, make sure there are no suspended electrical wires that could come in contact with the ladder. Always stay at least 10 feet away to avoid potential electrical shock.
Christmas decorating can be a dangerous event, but with the proper precautions, your chances of being seriously injured can be reduced greatly. Mel Harris Company wishes each of you a happy and safe holiday season. If you’re looking to give your home a facelift for the upcoming holiday season, give them a call. They offer many options for replacing your roof, siding or windows. Their convenient financing plan makes it even easier during this time of year when money can be a bit tight with the additional expenses. Mel Harris Company is ready to help you have the merriest of seasons!