‘Tis the Season to Decorate Safely

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During November and December 2014, there were 12 fatalities and an estimated 14,500 injuries treated in hospital ERs nationwide, due to holiday decorations. That’s an average of about 240 injuries per day during the holiday season!

Falls, lacerations, back strains and ingestion of foreign objects were among the top holiday decorating-related injuries last season. To prevent decorating disasters, CPSC counts down the 12 Ways to Celebrate Safely:

12. Take special care with sharp, weighted, or breakable decorations.

Lacerations were among the top reported
decoration–related injuries last year.

11. Avoid trimmings that resemble food or candy that may tempt a child to mouth or swallow them.

10. Place decorations with small removable parts that can pose a choking hazard to young children out of reach.

9. Purchase only holiday light sets that bear the marking of a safety testing laboratory.

Fires sparked by holiday lights
caused 10 deaths last year.

8. Examine new and old light sets for damage. Discard sets with cracked or broken sockets, frayed or exposed wires, and loose connections.

7. Keep burning candles in sight and away from places where kids and pets can knock them over.

Between 2010 and 2012, candles were the source
of an estimated 6,500 residential fires annually,
causing 80 deaths, 650 injuries,
and $237 million in property loss per year.

6. Place lighted candles away from items that can catch fire, such as trees, other evergreens, decorations, curtains and furniture.

5. Look for a label that reads “fire resistant” when purchasing an artificial tree. Check live trees for freshness—here’s how.

From 2010 to 2012 there was an estimated
annual average of 200 fires where the Christmas
tree was the first item ignited, causing 10 deaths,
20 injuries, and $17 million in property loss per year.

4. Place live Christmas trees away from heat sources, and keep trees well watered.

3. Watch this dramatic fire demonstration of what happens when a dry tree comes in contact with a heat source.

2. Use caution on ladders. Read “Ladder Safety 101” for tips to prevent ladder falls this season.

Thirty-six percent of holiday decorating injuries involve falls.
Falls from ladders account for about half of these incidents.

1. Start with safety in mind. Download and follow CPSC’s Holiday Decoration Safety Tips guide.

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