5 tips to help keep your holiday safe
More than 5,800 injuries from falls related to holiday decorating happen every year in the U.S., and 43 percent of those are caused by falls from ladders, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Of those who fell, nearly half were hospitalized. That’s not going to make for a very jolly holiday. Keep those lights twinkling and stay safe with these five tips:
1. Review your surroundings and make sure to avoid potentially dangerous conditions that can hinder your ability to correctly use a ladder. When inside, set up the ladder away from doors or other hazards that could lead to a fall.
2. Have a ground crew (one or two people) to steady your ladder and pass the decorations up to you. They will be an invaluable part of your safety and help keep you supplied with untangled light strings, fasteners and encouragement.
3. Remember to keep decorations and your ladder a safe distance, 10 feet at minimum, from your overhead electric service.
4. Don’t overreach. If you cannot get to a point with your body completely centered between the sides of the ladder, your feet firmly planted, get down and relocate the ladder. On a single or extension ladder, never stand above the third rung from the top.
5. Don’t overextend the ladder. If your ladder is too short, rent or borrow a longer one. A ladder extended beyond its working limits is dangerous. (See item No. 4 about how and where to safely stand).
Other common holiday injuries include severe burns, cuts, choking, fires and back injuries, according to the CDC. Take care to make your home for the holidays happy and safe.