Top hazards to avoid while putting up holiday decorations

Posted at 6:30 PM, Nov 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-22 18:59:38-05

CLEVELAND — The holidays can be a magical time with family and friends sitting around the Christmas tree and opening presents, but if you're not careful that celebration can quickly turn to tragedy.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are about 200 decorating-related injuries each day during the holiday season. Most of the incidents involved falls. The agency reports that during the 2018 holiday season, there were five deaths associated with holiday decorating.

But Dr. Tom Waters with the Cleveland Clinic says many holiday-related injures can be prevented. He says the first you can do to protect yourself before decorating is checking the forecast.

“Once it gets cold a, icy, rainy and windy, that’s not a time to be out putting up decorations…both risk electrocution as wells as also being up on a ladder when it’s icy or rainy or even cold can be very dangerous,” he said.

Waters also suggests keeping decorations closer to the ground. He says if you have decorations with cords that look frayed or damaged get rid of them and buy new ones.

But holiday hazards can also happen inside.

Remember to keep decorations and any clutter far away from heat sources. Waters tells News 5 you should always take caution when plugging decorations into an outlet, especially when using an extension cord.

“You just want to be careful and use the right extension cord you don’t want to overload your outlets and you also want to be careful where you’re running those extension cords so people don’t trip or you don’t run a snow plow over it or something else like that,” Waters explained.

Bill McVicker says he keeps these safety tips in min every year, while putting up at least 10,000 Christmas lights at his home on Seabury Avenue. It’s a tradition his family started more than 60 years ago.

“You always keep safety in mind,” he said.

For more safety tips, click here.