WASHINGTON – Those twinkling lights on homes are beautiful, but the holiday season is the time of year when people are most likely to injure themselves in the home.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports some 15,000 Americans landed in hospital emergency rooms in 2012 — the fourth year in a row holiday-related injuries increased in the U.S.
The most common injury during November and December are falls, usually attributed to steps or ladders, according to the CPSC.
The CPSC says about 250 injuries occur every day around the holidays and range from cuts to burns and back strains.
“Adding safety to your checklist can keep a holiday tradition from becoming a holiday tragedy,” CPSC Acting Chairman Robert Adler said in a news release. “Keep Christmas trees watered well, don’t leave candles unattended, and use caution whenever you are on a ladder.”
Seventy people died during holiday fires between 2009 and 2011.
To prevent fires in the home, toss out broken lights and keep Christmas trees watered. And of course, never leave candles burning.
Another tip from CPSC: If you’re extending a ladder to your roof to hang decorations, make the sure it’s on firm, level ground. Make sure it extends at least three feet above the roof line and leans at about a 75 degree angle. You can test that by standing behind the ladder as it is angled away from you with your toes touching the feet of the ladder. Your palms should touch the top of the rung that’s at shoulder level.