Decking the halls is on the top of many to-do lists in america this weekend, but the Consumer Product Safety Commission is warning folks to be careful as they usher in the holiday season.
From falling off ladders to stepping on broken ornaments to fires sparked by candles or malfunctioning lights, emergency room doctors see a huge increase in decorating-related injuries this time of year.
The CPSC estimates that 12,000 people wind up in the ER in November and December alone for injuries sustained when putting up holiday decorations.
Fire hazards are a big issue. Safety experts recommend using lights that have been tested for safety by a nationally-recognized laboratory. Also check strands of lights for frayed wires and broken bulbs.
The CPSC warns parents to keep small ornaments and those that resemble food and candy out of reach of young children.
And when getting a live tree make sure it's fresh when you buy it and keep it watered so it doesn't dry out. "A live tree that is dried out is highly flammable and can catch fire and burn in a matter of seconds. last year, we received reports of hundreds of christmas tree fires resulting in 17 deaths and $3 million in property damage", says Kim Dulic with the Consumer Product Safety Cmmission.
One more tip, make certain that candles are on stable, heat-resistant surfaces out of reach of children and pets.