Christmas Decorations Are Beautiful but Can Be Deadly
Christmas is just days away and many people are getting into the holiday spirit by decorating their homes and offices with bright decorations. Unfortunately, with those decorations come an increased risk of injuries. Each year, holiday decorations result in some 15,000 injuries. While we know we shouldn’t do things like stand on a chair or table to hang decorations, it isn’t just these types of careless behavior that result in accidents.
Out of the accidents that occur, some 5,000 of them are due to electric shock. Holiday decorations that light up may be damaged at the store, or a display may be tangled with too many extension cords. Whatever the cause, there are steps you should take to try to stay safe during the holidays and actions you should take if you are injured.
What to Watch Out for This Holiday Season
There are two things that commonly occur each holiday season that result in the most injuries and damages to property. These include the following:
Christmas Tree and Electrical Fires – These fires are caused by wiring that is faulty in holiday decorations. They are the fourth leading cause of house fires in the United States. Christmas tree fires are more common when non-LED lights are used on a natural tree, and these fires are much more dangerous than other fires. They result in five times the fatalities and twice the amount of injuries than other fires that occur during the holiday season.
Injuries from Electric Shock – As mentioned above, some 5,000 people are treated each year for electric shock injuries caused by holiday decorations. This can result in thermal burns, muscle and tissue damage, and even cardiac arrest. These injuries may be the result of frayed wires in extension cords or decorations, improper safety practices, or using electric lights on a metallic Christmas tree.
Preventing Electrical Injuries and Accidents
Fortunately, many of these accidents and injuries are preventable by taking the proper precautions when handling holiday decorations. These safety tips can help prevent dangerous accidents and injuries:
- Ensure that all decorations and cords are free of broken sockets, frayed wires, and loose connections.
- Don’t use metallic fixtures such as staples to hang electrical décor.
- Never connect more than three light strands to an extension cord or plug one power strip into another power strip.
- Use LED lights because they give off less heat and are less likely to cause a fire.
- Only hang electrical decorations in areas that are dry and never touch them if they are in standing water.
What to Do If You Are Injured by Holiday Decorations
If you are injured in an electrical accident, it is important to react as calmly as possible, so you can avoid further injuries. Call 911 if necessary. Even a small electrical fire can result in significant injuries and damages, and water will only make the fire worse.
Contact a Florida Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been injured by holiday decorations that were poorly designed or manufactured, you may be entitled to damages for your injuries. Contact the Florida attorneys at Leifer & Ramirez for a free consultation and let us advise you of what your legal options may be.