Holiday Home Safety Tips from the CPSC
December 23, 2019
The holidays are a time for festivity and cheer, but according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), it can also be a time for unexpected dangers. Holiday home hazards include things like unsafe toys, candles, cooking fires, and even Christmas trees and lights. In a recent press release, the CPSC gives some useful tips for keeping you and your loved ones safe and preventing accidents and injuries this holiday season.
The Hazards – and Tips for Preventing Injury
Year round, at home cooking is the number one cause behind residential fires. Fires tend to peak during the holidays, so taking precautions to prevent property damage and injuries is essential. Some of the CPSC’s fire prevention tips include:
- Do not leave food unattended in the oven or on the stove top,
- Always keep children away from cooking areas, and:
- Keep flammable items (paper or plastic bags, etc.) away from cooking areas
Cooking fires are not the only hazard to pop up around the holidays. Toy manufacturers are responsible for producing safe products, but in 2018 the CPSC still reported more than 166,000 toy-related, emergency-department injuries – and 17 deaths – in children and teens under 15-years-old. The majority of injuries associated with dangerous or defective toys are burns, lacerations, or are choking-related.
There are several precautions to take when trying to avoid toy-related injuries. For example, most toys come with user manuals and safety packaging. Following age guidelines is one effective way to limit preventable toy-related accidents from happening. Here are some other useful tips for safely selecting and using toys:
- Purchase all necessary safety gear (like helmets for riding bicycles, scooters and any other riding-toys) to accompany toys,
- Keep small parts away from children under 3-years-old,
- Keep broken and deflated balloons out of reach of children under 8-years-old, and:
- Always observe all of the manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines
Even decorating can result in unintentional and unexpected hazards. The CPSC reports approximately 200 decorating-related injuries per day during the holiday season every year. The agency says that falls are the most common type of injuries to occur. Over a three-year period (2014 to 2016) the agency reported an annual average of 100 Christmas tree and 1,100 candle-related fires (totaling more than $50 million in property damages) in addition to 10 deaths and 150 injuries.
To prevent decorating-related deaths and injury, the CPSC recommends the following:
- Ensure that artificial trees are manufactured – and labeled – as “fire resistant”,
- Give live Christmas trees plenty of water to avoid them drying out and becoming increasingly flammable,
- Remember to blow out lit candles before you leave a room, and always put candles in easy-to-see places and away from flammable items like curtains or blinds,
- Before installing holiday lights, make sure they have been tested for safety by a nationally-recognized testing laboratory, and:
- Throw away any light sets with broken or cracked sockets, loose connections, and frayed, bare, or otherwise damaged wires or plugs
Our whole team here at Galfand Berger is wishing you and your loved ones a safe, healthy, and joyful holiday season and new year!
Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Representing Injured Individuals Since 1947
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