Families throughout New York decorate their homes and offices for the winter holidays. Whether you’re preparing for Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa or any other holiday event, paying attention to the details as you decorate can help you prevent serious burn injuries.
Here are some tips for safer holiday decorating, courtesy of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC):
- Check for “credentials.” Many holiday decorations meant to support electric lights or candles, like artificial trees, wreaths and candleholders, will be labeled if they are made of fire-retardant or fire-resistant materials. Avoid items that are not labeled flame-resistant or flame-retardant, as these can catch on fire more quickly and may cause burns.
- Choose safety-tested lights. Holiday lights that have been tested for safety will be labeled by an independent testing laboratory. Look for the label, and make sure you use lights only as directed – for instance, never use indoor-only lights outside.
- Watch candles and fireplaces closely. Maintain a clear area of at least three feet around open flames, like those in candles and fireplaces. Never leave burning items unattended, and do not let children play with flames. For illumination during a holiday party, use “candles” with LED bulbs instead of flames for safety reasons.
- Turn off the lights before you go to bed. A short in holiday lights or other decorations can start a fire. Always turn off all decorations before you leave the house or go to bed.
If someone you love suffers burn injuries from a defective product this holiday season, contact the experienced New York burn injury attorneys at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP to learn more about your legal rights and options. Your initial consultation is free and confidential.