The holidays are a special time of year filled with family, friends, and plenty of danger.
Sadly, what is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year often leaves people black and blue and seeing red. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, thousands of Americans each year are injured in decorating-related incidents. Hundreds of others lose their homes due to Christmas tree fires. Then there are slips, falls and electrical shocks, which often lead people to contact personal injury attorneys in Las Vegas.
If you're hosting or planning a holiday party this year, take a look at these nine tips for keeping your home, your guests and yourself safe:
1) Don't overload outlets
Your appliances and decorations will likely be doing double duty during the holidays. Resist the urge to overload your electrical outlets, which is a common cause of fires. Look for damaged sockets, bare wires and loose connections. They can cause fires and shock you if they are not properly taken care of.
2) Stick to three strings of lights
You might be tempted to illuminate your house like Clark Griswold in "Christmas Vacation." That's fine--as long as you don't connect more than three strings of lights to one another. Any more than that can blow a fuse or cause a fire.
3) Water your tree
Dried out Christmas trees cause dozens of home fires each year. Keep your tree watered and wet. When putting lights on your tree make sure they are LED lights. Unlike older Christmas lights, LED’s do not get hot when left on for long periods of time.
4) Be careful with the candles
Candles are wonderful for creating a warm and comfortable atmosphere, but they also start nearly half of all house fires. Be careful with them or consider using battery operated candles.
5) Control your cords
Electrical cords come complete with an array of dangers. They can shock people, cause fires and make people fall. Keep them under control by taping them to floors, making sure they don't get pinched and keeping them away from heat sources.
6) Use certified decorations
Your decorations should be certified by an independent testing laboratory to ensure they are safe and do not contain hazardous materials. For example, look for decorations approved by Underwriters Laboratories.
7) Cook carefully
Food poisoning and kitchen fires are no fun at all. Make sure you avoid them both by cooking carefully. Stay in the kitchen when cooking, follow all instructions for defrosting and cooking meat and make sure you have a fire extinguisher near the stove at all times. If it’s tradition in your family to have young children help cook, supervise them at all times when in the kitchen.
8) Turn off your decorations when you're not home
Decorations are only beautiful if you're there to enjoy them. Turn them off when you're not at home.