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The Predator

How to Stay Safe This Holiday Season

It’s that time of year! According to Bureau of Safety and Statistics, about 100–200 people die each year from using ladders incorrectly or on unstable ground while putting up Holiday lights.

Whether you end up putting up Christmas, New years, or Hanukkah lights up, safety is a constant. So, when you’re up on a ladder you have a couple of ways to stay safe. Some examples: Bring a family member out to watch and be ready in case of an emergency, make sure your ladder is on a secure surface, and wear proper footwear always use the proper step stool or ladder to reach high places. Don’t stand on chairs, desks, or other furniture. If you must use a step ladder near a doorway, lock or barricade the door and post signs so no one will open it and knock you off the ladder. Fractures are the most reported injury (34 percent) all kinds of holiday-related falls. That statistic also includes falls from roofs and furniture, as well as from slipping and trips and falls. Approximately half of the reported fractures were caused by falls from ladders.

Most people, even the Grinches and Scrooges, can agree that Holiday decorations are a great way to show your cheer. “Lights are fun way to make your house more festive, but there are some risks you should probably think about,” said Daniel Gottardi. You are far more likely to hurt yourself if you are not aware of your surroundings. There are many online sites and resources that can help you prepare. One of the most reputable sites for information on this topic is U.S.A Today’s article “4 THINGS TO DO FOR BETTER CHRISTMAS LIGHT SAFETY AT HOME”

Mr. Brett Butler, building manager of Landrum Middle School, is the perfect person to ask for information on holiday light safety. He loves to decorate his home with his family to spread holiday cheer. Mr. Butler had some handy tips about ladders. “First of all, the ladder I use would need to be rated for a person my size, most aluminum ladder are not sufficient for me. It would have to be a fiberglass ladder,” he said. This makes since, considering that Mr. Butler is one of the tallest people at Landrum. Next, he said “The biggest thing you can do, in terms of lighting, is look at the manufacturer’s recommendation for how many strings of lights you can plug together. What happens is, the wire heats up quite a bit.” Mr. Butler said this because hot wires are a big fire risk. But that’s not all the information about lighting wires he had to say.” Always, when you unbox your lights, check for crushed or frayed wires.” This is always important and, just a note about pets, they can chew on wires and endanger themselves and your lighting display.

Lastly, real trees may be more complicated than you may think in terms of safety. When Mr. Butler was asked about trees, he said,” If it was my real tree, I would use LED lights, not big C7 bulbs that screw in. The reason is, C7 lights get extremely hot. LEDs don’t. But hot lights are only one component that contributes to burning trees He also said, “You have to keep the tree itself watered so the needles don’t get dry and create an environment where heat can spark a fire.”

In conclusion, Holiday lights are a fun thing to do with friends and family. But it may be best to have in the back of your mind the possibilities of fires, slip and falls, as well as other things not mentioned here. You may just want to use your best judgement to help yourself and to give advice to others. Ti’s the season!

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