Although the holiday season is long over, many homeowners wait until the approaching thaw of spring to begin removing the decorations the exteriors of their homes. Christmas lights, for example, are notorious for being both difficult to put up and a pain to take back down. But it’s not only the difficulty that these decorations possess — there are also many holiday decoration injuries to avoid by using caution around lights, inflatables, and other items.
If you’re just getting around to removing those lights or storing a giant inflatable Santa Claus this March, use these three tips to keep yourself safe around these items.
1. Unplug decorations before removing them. Electric shocks are among the top holiday decoration injuries to avoid, especially given how many decorative elements need to be plugged in to bring some holiday flair to a home. Make sure that lights, inflatables, and other decorations are unplugged from the electrical socket before you go to remove them. As a reference for next year, lights should also be unplugged when you’re putting them up, too, in order to avoid getting shocked.
2. Use caution on ladders. To get those twinkling lights hung perfectly on trees or around the edge of the house, or to take them down, many homeowners will balance precariously on ladders as they decorate. But this can also be incredibly dangerous if you’re not using the right safety precautions. Make sure that someone else is present to “spot” you on the ladder, so you don’t fall. The ladder should be used only as instructed; there should be a label on the side explaining weight limits, proper opening and folding, etc. If the spot you’re trying to reach isn’t accessible without standing on the very top of the ladder, you’ll probably need a taller ladder to avoid the risk of falling.
3. Throw out anything with a broken cord. Once you’ve taken your lights down, you may want to examine them to make sure they’re in good condition for next year. However, if you notice any frayed electrical cords, broken glass, or other hazards on your decorations, throw them out. A frayed electrical cord or exposed wire could easily ignite a house fire when you go to use them again, and broken glass can lead to an injury when storing or putting up decorations. And if you can’t find a replacement right away, don’t worry because there’s always next year.
Remember, too, that’s it’s not just around the home where you might need to exercise caution around electrical decorations or ladders. Workplace safety issues can also occur if you’ve had to remove decorations or work in other dangerous conditions. In addition to watching out for holiday decoration injuries to avoid, make sure you know what to do when you get injured on the job. If you think there’s been a violation of the safety guidelines in the workplace where you work, talk to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Have more questions about safety around ladders and electrical items? Leave a comment below.