During the winter holidays, lights and decorations make for a more festive atmosphere. While these aesthetically pleasing additions make the environment look and feel good, they can pose risks. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warns that Christmas lights and holiday candles, such as those on a Menorah, can cause fires and lead to injury. To illustrate, the CPSC reported that Christmas trees started 200 fires in the span between 2009 through 2011. As a result, there were 10 fatalities, 20 injuries, and property loss worth a total of 16 million dollars during this period. Fires started by candles caused 70 fatalities, 680 injuries, and property damage worth a total of 308 million in the same time span.
There are precautions you can take to ensure you, your family, and home are protected from fire this holiday season.
Continually check the level of water for the tree. Make sure to give the tree ample water, as dry trees will more easily ignite,
Make sure to buy a fresh tree instead of one that has already dried out. Signs that a tree is fresh include green needles that bend instead of break, few of which fall if the tree is hit against the ground and sap emerging from places where the tree is cut,
Set the tree away from heat sources and out of the way of foot traffic and doorways,
If purchasing an artificial Christmas tree, ensure it is fire resistant. This does not mean fire proof, but it is more resistant to catching fire.
Only use lights that have been tested to meet safety requirements. A red holographic UL label means lights are safe for both indoor and outdoor use. A green holographic UL label means lights are only safe for use indoors,
Check and discard all Christmas light strands showing any possible damage such as broken light sockets or exposed wires,
Check extension cords for use and signs of wear.
Always makes sure to blow out candles when you leave the room or go to sleep. Never leave candles burning unattended,
Make sure candles are on a stable surface where children and pets cannot knock them over.
It is important to follow safety precautions and be aware of fire hazards this holiday season. However, if someone else acts carelessly, you may still be affected even if you were taking actions to stay safe. If you believe you were injured by fire as the result of someone else’s negligence, you need the representation of a personal injury lawyer. Injuries, especially burn injuries, can cause drawn-out emotional and physical pain as the recovery often takes time. In addition, there may be the high cost of medical bills and loss of income from taking time off of work. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you during this stressful time.
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If you need the help and support of a personal injury attorney, contact an experienced Atlanta metro area attorney at Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC who can help you with your case. Call us today for your free consultation.