Lights are strung up on houses and trees throughout neighborhoods, snowflakes decorate grade school classrooms, and candy canes fill grocery store shelves. The holidays have snuck up on us yet again.
And with so much going on during this time of year, the old adage “accidents happen” should be kept in mind. The stress of decorating, buying gifts and prepping for the arrival of friends and family can leave even the calmest individuals feeling frazzled. And when your attention is diverted due to stress, injuries or disasters can occur.
An estimated 13,000 injuries result in visits to the emergency room each year around the holidays, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. To keep accidents from spoiling your holiday cheer, follow these safety tips.
Deck the hallsDecorating for the holidays is one of the most widely embraced traditions of the season, but it also can be one of the most dangerous. The most popular decorating-related accidents can be the result of hanging strands of lights, and can include anything from falling off ladders to suffering electrical shocks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the holiday months are responsible for more fall-related injuries than any other time of year.
To keep yourself from becoming a statistic, test all lights before hanging them, and have a friend or family member hold a ladder steady while you’re decorating the roof or a tree in your yard.
Wrap presents, not bandagesFew things are more central to the holiday season than wrapping presents and hanging ornaments. Many people get excited to spoil their loved ones with gifts, and to get the ornaments out of storage to make the house more festive.
Though they’re part of the fun of decorating, these common holiday rituals can result in visits to the hospital if you’re not careful.
Think about it: Wrapping presents exposes you to slicing your hand with scissors or paper, and ornaments can fall or shatter, resulting in lacerations if someone steps on a piece of broken glass.
To help combat potential cuts:
These tasks may seem innocuous, but they can be far from it. The CDC reports that more than 50,000 winter-related back injuries occur each year.
When shoveling snow or transporting luggage — though it may sound silly — make sure you stretch beforehand, wear appropriate attire (including shoes with traction), keep a steady pace, hydrate, and lift with your legs while keeping your upper body straight to reduce strain and tension on your back.
Chestnuts roasting on an open fireIt’s extremely likely that you’ll hear this classic holiday song this month. It’s also likely that your home may be at risk for structure fires.
Strands of lights with frayed wires, Christmas trees, space heaters, candles, flammable items placed too close to open flames, and cooking all present risks for home fires during the holidays.
According to the National Fire Protection Association statistics for home fires between 2009 and 2013, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are two of the top three days of the year for home candle fires; Christmas tree fires resulted in $17.5 million of property damage per year; and decorations (excluding Christmas trees) were the first items ignited in about 860 home fires, causing an average of $13.4 million worth of property damage per year.
While fire typically is covered by standard home insurance, no one wants to go through the hassle.
Keep your home safe, take these precautions:
From: Zillow.com by Shannon Ireland
Tress Realty Group compiles some of the best real estate news, tips, and information for buyers, sellers and investors.