Christmas has come and gone, and the New Year has arrived. Mr. Electric wishes all of our customers a happy and healthy 2015! In efforts to promote safety and peace of mind for you and your family, we have a few tips to keep in mind when you’re taking down all your holiday décor this weekend.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), hospital emergency rooms treat about 12,500 people for injuries, such as falls, cuts and shocks, related to holiday lights, decorations and Christmas trees. Around 5,800 people per year were treated in hospital emergency rooms for falls associated with holiday decorations, according to Electrical Safety Foundation International. Falls from ladders or roofs account for more than half of these injuries.
When using ladders, CSPSC tells us to keep these things in mind:
- Select a ladder that extends at least 3 feet over the working surface. Place it on solid, level ground. Be sure it has slip-resistant feet. It should stand upright at a 75-degree angle.
- Never use a metal ladder near power lines or electrical equipment, and always keep away from live electric wire.
- Make sure the ladder is able to support your weight and the rung locks and spreader braces are set.
- Have someone hold the bottom while you climb up. Allow only one person on the ladder at a time.
- Follow the warning labels and only use the ladder for its intended purpose. Immediately put it away after use.
Be aware of where all the electrical cords are and make sure children know not to touch them. The CPSC estimates that each year, about 4,000 injuries associated with electric extension cords are treated in hospital emergency rooms. Of those injuries, 13 percent involve children less than five years of age, and electrical burns to the mouth accounted for 50 percent of the injuries to young children.
When taking down your lights, always be cautious and unplug them the correct way. Never tug or pull the lights, as they could unravel and unintentionally wrap around power lines. Let the lights cool off before packing. It’s also important to never leave lights unattended with children around.
There are many products available to help keep your Christmas décor in tip-top shape for next year. To ensure your strings of lights don’t tangle, you can purchase a Christmas lights storage reel or a light cord wrap online or at the nearest hardware store. For a DIY approach, empty coffee cans are also able to the trick.
Ornaments and Displays
Take special care to always keep smaller or breakable ornaments and display pieces out of reach of children. When dealing with spun glass “angel hair,” wear gloves to avoid eye and skin irritation.
Reusing containers such as an empty egg carton or wine box is a great way to store ornaments and reduce waste and extra cost. There are also numerous ornament storage boxes available as well. Group and pack displays together to prevent lost pieces and for easy access next year. For artificial Christmas tree storage, you can use a Christmas tree duffle bag to neatly store your tree. Using the box it came in is always a good idea, too.