The holidays are a time to reconnect with family and friends, but they also can present seasonal safety hazards. Hospital emergency rooms treat thousands of people annually who are injured from falls involving holiday decorations. Half of those injuries are associated with falls, and some could involve extension cords.
Here are some decorating tips to help keep your family and home safe this holiday season:
- Never use furniture as a ladder.
- Follow the 1-to-4 rule for extension ladders: for every four feet the ladder rises, move the base out one foot from the structure.
- Always keep three points of contact on the ladder: two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand.
- Inspect the ladder for any damage prior to using it.
- Use the right ladder for the task at hand.
- Keep potentially poisonous plants – mistletoe, holly berries, Jerusalem cherry, and amaryllis – away from children
- If using an artificial tree, check that it is labeled “fire resistant”
- If using a live tree, cut off about 2 inches of the trunk to expose fresh wood for better water absorption, remember to water it and remove it from your home when it is dry
- Place your tree at least 3 feet away from fireplaces, radiators, and other heat sources, making sure not to block doorways
- Avoid placing breakable ornaments or ones with small, detachable parts on lower tree branches where small children can reach them
- Only use indoor lights indoors and outdoor lights outdoors, and choose the right ladder for the task when hanging lights
- Replace light sets that have broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections
- Follow the package directions on the number of light sets that can be plugged into one socket
- Never nail, tack, or stress wiring when hanging lights, and keep plugs off the ground away from puddles and snow
- Turn off all lights and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house
Our team at Evolutions Safety Resources cares about not only your safety at work but also your safety at home. If you’re interested in learning about the steps we take to ensure safety and compliance in the workplace, let’s get the conversation started today. Our experts at ESR are ready and available to help. We offer free consultations and will develop complimentary improvement plans.