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David Morgan
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Checking the Halls Before Decking the Halls

December 11, 2014 - Public Relations - Awareness

Holiday decorations laying on the floor with snow falling on them.

It is the stuff of movie comedy gold. I’m talking about my favorite scene from the movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

Clark Griswold is on the roof of his house stapling down what will be the first of 250 stands of Christmas lights. He gets his foot tangled up in a strand, falls, and manages to hang from the rain gutter. Only the gutter gives way, a massive ice spear shoots out of the gutter like a rocket, through a window and into a stereo, blowing it up as Clark falls to the ground.

Like I said, comedy gold. The reality of fall-related injuries during the holiday season, however, isn’t funny at all.

In fact, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates there were 15,000 injuries involving holiday decorating seen in emergency departments nationwide during November and December 2012, making it the fourth consecutive year those numbers increased.

The majority of falls during the holidays tend to be from ladders, say while hanging holiday lights, followed by roofs, and furniture (while standing on a table decorating a Christmas tree, standing on a chair hanging holiday decorations, or standing on a step stool when hanging a tree topper), falling from a ladder and stepping on broken ornaments may be funny in holiday movies but in reality, the CDC says they result in visits to the emergency room, or calls to fire departments, for thousands of consumers each year.

So to avoid being one of the estimated 250 Americans injured each day during the holiday season, the New Mexico Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend the following safety tips as a guide to help prevent decorating disasters:

  • Recognize the possibility of falls.
  • Use safer alternatives such as step stools instead of furniture when hanging decorations.
  • Increase your awareness of seasonal fall hazards, like decorations on the floor, and
  • Use safe ladder practices.

Being careful on a ladder can’t be underestimated. The CPSC offers tips such as:

  • Making sure the ladder is on a secure and level footing before climbing.
  • Staying centered between the rails of the ladder. Don’t overreach; move the ladder instead.
  • Do not stand on the ladder's top two rungs.
  • To reach a roof, extend the ladder at least three feet beyond the edge of the roof, and
  • Keep the area around the top and bottom of the ladder clear.
Charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction.

Also, many of us may not look at our Christmas tree and see it as fuel for a fire, but from 2009 through 2011, fire departments across the United States responded to an average of 200 blazes yearly that started from live or even artificial trees.

According to the CPSC, these fires resulted in 10 deaths, 20 injuries and $16 million in damage from 2009 to 2012.

The holidays are no time for trouble. Follow these tips to help ensure you and your have family a safe and happy holiday season.

visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission website for more information on fall safety and other holiday hazards.

Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact David Morgan at 575-528-5197 (Office) or 575-649-0754 (Mobile) with your questions.

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Chequee los Pasillos Antes de Adornar los Pasillos