Top 5 Christmas Safety Tips

There's nothing like the warm glow of a Christmas tree to get you in the holiday spirit. But, there's no beauty without at least a little bit of risk because fires caused by Christmas trees are not rare occurrences during the holidays.

The last thing you want to do is end up like Clark Griswold with a home full of dangerous holiday disasters. Here, our personal injury lawyer in Wilmington NC shares some Christmas safety tips that will help keep you and your family safe so you can enjoy the true meaning of the holidays.

#1 - Buy a Fresh-Cut Tree

If your family's tradition involves getting a fresh-cut Christmas tree, make sure your emphasis is on the word "fresh." The tree's trunk should be moist with sap and its needles should be soft and pliable. If you put the tree on the ground and it sheds a lot of brown, dry needles, then skip that tree because it is already drying out.

Once you get the tree home, place it securely in a weighted tree stand and position it away from any heat sources such as a fireplace, heating ducts, radiators, or candles. Always make sure the tree stand is filled with water to keep the tree as hydrated as possible. Or, if you're going with an artificial tree this year, make sure you choose one that has been labeled as "fire resistant."

#2 - Inspect Lights Before Hanging Them

Over time, Christmas lights can become damaged to the point that they can be a fire risk. If you're reusing lights from the previous year, make sure you check the wires, sockets, bulbs, and plugs to make sure there is no damage. If your lights are older than three years old, replace them with a fresh set of lights and always make sure that all of the lights you use have the UL logo on the tag to certify that they have been tested and approved by Underwriter's Laboratory.

Once your interior is decked out with lights, be sure never to leave them on all night and always turn them off before leaving the home.

#3 - Outside Lighting Safety

If you are decorating the exterior of your home, make sure that all of your decorations are well secured to the home or to the ground. Plug any lighting displays into a GFCI outlet to prevent the risk of shock and avoid plugging more than three strings of lights into any one extension cord. Additionally, avoid stringing multiple extension cords together; use only one cord per section. Your outside lights should also be controlled by an automatic timer so they come on at 7pm and turn off at midnight. Never leave your outside lights on all night long.

#4 - Fireplace Safety

The fireplace is often a gathering place for the holidays, but it needs to be treated with respect if you want to avoid a dangerous situation. For starters, you should have your chimney inspected and cleaned prior to using the fireplace to ensure safe ventilation.

You also shouldn't toss any wrapping paper or Christmas morning packaging into the fire. These materials burn very quickly and they can cause the fire to burn out of control. They can also produce flying embers that could enter the living space.

You should also be careful using "fire salts." These products create colorful flames when thrown on the logs but they are made from heavy metals that can cause serious illnesses if ingested. If there are going to be small children in your home over the holidays, make sure you keep these products out of their reach.

#5 - Buy Age-Appropriate Toys

Before buying any gifts for your child or someone else's make sure that the toy is age appropriate to reduce the risk of choking hazards and other potential injuries. You should also read the instructions that come with the toys and show your child how to properly handle them.

The Rodzik Law Group's Personal Injury Lawyer in Wilmington NC is Here if You Need Us

No family imagines that their holiday will be impacted by a serious injury, but injuries do occur at the holidays. Thankfully, most of the season's most common injuries are preventable by following a few simple steps, like those provided above.

But, as safe as you make your home, there is always the chance of an injury occurring outside of the home during the holidays. In the event that you are a victim of another's negligence, then contact The Rodzik Law Group's personal injury lawyer in Wilmington NC today at 910-762-1199 to schedule a free initial consultation.