The dangers of decorating for the holidays

Charleston County News

CHARLESTON S.C. (WCBD) – Decorating for the holidays may seem more fun than scary, but on average there are 240 injuries per day from November to December in relation to do-it-yourself home decorations.

One of the main cautions people should take when decorating is the usage of a ladder. Mike Julazadeh, Chief Fire Marshall, with Charleston Fire says that people should read and check the manufacturers instructions, or their stickers for tips and tricks. Keeping in mind that the most important things is the angle.

A lot of people don’t understand the angle of ladder, and it’s very important to look at that sticker again to give you some key pointers on how to set the proper angle. If it’s too steep, it’s very likely that the ladder will fall backwards, if it’s too shallow the ladder may actually scoot away from the wall. Either one could create a fall.

Mike Julazadeh, Chief Fire Marshall, Charleston Fire

The Chief also says you should be aware of where you are stepping and how far away from the roof you are at all times. Studies have shown that more than 40% of holiday decorating injuries involved falls from ladders, roofs, and furniture.

However, ladders and roofs shouldn’t be your only concerns this decorating season. There is also an increase in cooking fires during the holiday season and candle fires. These primarily occur when those cooking or burning their wicks step away from the open flames. By remaining attentive and turning off you stove or blowing out your candle before leaving the room, such fires can be prevented.

Another type of fire that can be prevented is from being aware of what lights you are putting up and what type of outlets you are using.

A lot of times folks will run too many lights together on a single strand or they will run indoor lights in an outdoor situation, which could create a shock hazard. Read the package carefully and check the label on the cord. Most of the directions will tell you if how many strings of lights can actually attach together.

Mike Julazadeh, Chief Fire Marshall, Charleston Fire

As the fire hazards go up for the season, be sure to have your smoke detectors up to date with fresh batteries, have your family know what the alarm sounds like and have an emergency plan in place.

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