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As Holiday Festivities Kick Off in Boston, a Reminder to Decorate Safely

Holiday festivities have begun in downtown Boston. Among the events are Christmas tree and menorah lightings. Tonight, the official tree lighting celebration will take place at 8 p.m. in Boston Common where more 80 trees will be lit.

The holiday season should be full of happiness, and holiday decorations can help people to get in the spirit. Holiday decorations can, however, cause serious personal injuries. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 1,300 people are treated in emergency rooms every year for injuries related to holiday lights. An additional 6,200 are treated for injuries that involved Christmas trees or holiday decorations. Holiday lights cause approximately 510 fires every year, and 1/6 of all fires caused by candles happen during December. During the holiday season, fall- injury emergency room visits rise from 9% to 12% with people standing on furniture, ladders and roofs to deck the halls.

To prevent injury or property damage from ruining your holiday season:

•Keep Christmas trees away from radiators and fireplaces.

•Keep lit menorahs away from curtains and other decorations. Don’t go to sleep or leave your home while candles are lit.

•If you have young children, don’t use decorations that look edible, and don’t use decorations that break and become sharp.

•If you use spray-on snow, make sure that it is non-toxic.

•Check your Christmas tree lights for frayed wires, broken or loose bulbs, and other defects. These are serious fire hazards, especially on a dry tree.

•Be careful if you’re using extension cords. Don’t string more than three sets of lights together.

•Don’t stand on a couch to hang decorations. If you have to use a ladder, try to make sure that it stands properly and won’t bend or crack beneath you.

Sources:

The Boston Globe, Holiday festivities in downtown Boston

Medicinenet.com, Tips for preventing injuries during the holidays

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