This first weekend in December is one of the most popular periods to decorate your home for the holidays, second only to Thanksgiving weekend.
Additionally, it is the time when safety specialists’ shudder at the surge in hospital emergency rooms.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that 160 decorating-related accidents occur every day throughout the holiday season.
Choosing a tree and setting up decorations inside and outside your house might be enjoyable for the whole family, but there is also an added opportunity for injuries to happen.
Every holiday season, more than 5,800 fall injuries are caused by holiday décor mishaps, according to the CDC. A little over 43% of those injuries are the result of ladder falls. According to estimates from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, each year about 18,000 Americans visit the emergency room due to injuries sustained from putting up Christmas decorations.
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The leading cause of ladder-related injuries is a ladder sliding out at the base due to an incorrect setup angle.
Here are some tips for ladder safety during the holidays:
- Use the proper ladder or step stool to reach high places. Do you simply need a step stool to change a lightbulb, or do you need an extension ladder to get on your roof to hang Christmas lights? Selecting the appropriate ladder can reduce your risk for injury.
- Longer ladders are less stable, so use them only when essential. On the other hand, most injuries occur when you reach farther than your normal reach on the ladder. Therefore, you run a higher danger of falling if you utilize a shorter ladder than necessary.
- Observe the “Three-Point Rule.” When using a ladder, make sure you always have three points of contact: two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand. To climb, grab the ladder’s rungs rather than the side rails.
- Do not stand on furniture, like desks, chairs, tables, etc.
- Due to limited stability, most ladders are not intended to support a person at the top. Instead, store your tools, decorations, and other job-related supplies on the top step or cap.
- If using a step ladder next to a doorway, make sure to lock or barricade the entrance. To ensure that no one opens the door and knocks you off the ladder, you can also post signs on the door.
- Aluminum ladders or any other metal ladder can conduct electricity. Therefore, stay away from carrying or handling live wires as they may cause electrocution if they encounter metal.
- Avoid decorating at night and abstain from alcohol both before and during the decorating process.
- Make sure that a friend, relative, or neighbor is always at the base of the ladder. They can pass objects up to you so you do not have to carry them up the ladder and assist with anchoring the ladder. In the event of an accident, they can also immediately call for assistance.
During the Christmas season, emergency rooms throughout the country are overflowing with victims of holiday decorating disasters. In the months of November and December, there are an average of 230 decor-related injuries treated by American hospitals every day. So that this season can continue to be joyous, please be cautious!