Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyers: Make Safety a Priority When Decorating for the HolidaysDecember 13, 2016
The winter holidays are around the corner, which means it is time to bring out the boxes of decorations, from lights and wreaths to scented candles and ornaments for the tree. Over 85 percent of Americans decorate their homes for the holidays, and while this is a great way to get into the holiday spirit, it is important to take the right safety precautions so that your decorations do not become a holiday hazard.
Hazardous Christmas Trees
For those who celebrate Christmas, decorating the Christmas tree is often a family tradition, where everyone helps adorn the tree with lights, ornaments, and the coveted Christmas tree topper. But electrical lights can quickly become a fire hazard if some basic guidelines are not followed.
- If you use a real tree, make sure to water it regularly, or its dry branches and needles can easily catch on fire. You can tell that your tree is fresh if its needles are green and do not easily snap off, and if the trunk is sticky with resin.
- If using an artificial tree, check the packaging to make sure it is fire resistant.
- When setting up the tree, keep it away from radiators, fireplaces, and heating vents. Make sure the tree stand is secure and that it has plenty of water at all times.
- Set up the tree in an area that it out of the way, so that it is not a tripping hazard.
Top Tips for Holiday Lighting
- Always check lights for any frayed wires. Throw away any strands that are damaged.
- Only use lights that are approved by the Underwriters Laboratory. These lights will have “UL” displayed on the tag.
- Use clips to secure lights to the house. Never hammer nails or tacks into electrical cords.
- Only use heavy-duty extension cords that are designated for outdoor use.
- If you use outdoor lights, or inflatable decorations, it is recommended that you plug them into circuits that are protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GCFI) to help prevent electric shocks.
- Make sure that indoor lights do not touch curtains, drapes, furniture, or carpeting.
- Keep electric cords and other decorations off of the floor in order to prevent tripping.
- In homes with small children, keep electrical outlets covered with plastic outlet covers.
- Turn lights off before going to bed. Consider using a timer if you will be away from home.
- Do not overload extension cords or outlets with too many strings of lights.
The holidays are particularly magical for children, who often count down the days. Avoid a holiday injury by keeping these important safety precautions in mind:
- Use battery-powered candles instead of traditional candles.
- Avoid using any glass, or breakable decorations if you have small children in the house.
- Keep candles and matches out of the reach of children.
- Certain decorations, like holly berries, wax fruit, and small ornaments can be a choking hazard.
- Do not allow small children to play with electrical cords, or other electrical decorations.
Maryland Personal Injury Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Injured Clients
If you or a loved one has been injured due to negligence, contact the Maryland personal injury lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will determine who is responsible for your injuries and pursue the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To set up a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent clients throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.