Emergency rooms treat around 12,500 people every year for injuries such as cuts, shocks, burns and broken bones caused by faulty holiday décor. Defective lights, dried out trees and the misuse of ladders can all cause serious risks for homeowners and their homes.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says that 300 fires a year are caused by Christmas trees. The aftermath has caused an average of 10 deaths, 40 injuries and roughly $7 million in property damage.

To make sure your home and loved ones are safe this holiday season, follow these holiday home safety tips.

•· Stringing lights: Carefully inspect holiday lights each year and discard any that seem frayed, cracked or that have a loose connection. When replacing bulbs, unplug the lights and be sure to match the voltage and wattage of the original bulb. Never connect more than one extension cord together; instead use a single cord that is long enough to reach the outlet without stretching, but not so long that it can be easily tangled. Always turn off your holiday lights when either leaving the house or going to bed.

•· Decorating outdoors: When decorating outside, keep electrical connectors off the ground and away from metal rain gutters. Use insulated tape or plastic clips instead of metal nails or tacks to hold decorations in place.

•· Trees: If you intend to have a real tree, purchase a freshly cut tree as they are more resistant to catching on fire. Make sure your tree is watered and away from open candles or flames.

•· Using ladders: When decorating, do not try to climb up without using a ladder. Choose the correct size ladder for the job and check that there is a certification mark on the ladder to ensure it complies with applicable standards.

For a free legal consultation, call (412) 661-1400

It is a homeowner’s responsibility to keep their home safe at all times. If someone were to get injured on the property due to the negligence of the homeowners, the injured party may be able to file a personal injury claim. Also, if you feel you may have purchased defective holiday décor, and were injured as a result, you may be able to file a products liability claim against the manufacturer. Contact the attorneys at Berger and Green to evaluate your case.

Source: Parents Magazine, “Holiday Decorating Safety Tips”

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