From Our 2011 Archives
Injuries Linked to Holiday Decorating on the Rise
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WEDNESDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Decking the halls (and elsewhere) for the holidays may be getting more dangerous, a new government report finds.
In November and December 2010, more than 13,000 people were treated in U.S. emergency departments for injuries involving holiday decorations, up from 10,000 in 2007, and 12,000 in 2008 and 2009, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
"A well-watered tree, carefully placed candles, and carefully checked holiday light sets will help prevent the joy of the holidays from turning into a trip to the emergency room or the loss of your home," said CPSC chairman Inez Tenenbaum in an agency news release.
While deaths and injuries caused by Christmas tree and candle fires have fallen, there are still a high number of decorating-linked incidents overall. Between 2006 and 2008, Christmas tree-related fires caused an annual average of four deaths and $18 million in property damage a year. And in the same time period there were a total of about 130 deaths and $360 million in property damage due to fires caused by candles.
The CPSC, along with UL (Underwriters Laboratories), which helped craft the report, offered a number of holiday safety tips:
"This is easily the busiest time of year, but it's important to make time for safety while celebrating the holidays," John Drengenberg, director of consumer safety at Underwriters Laboratories , said in the CPSC news release. "By committing a few minutes each day to safety, many accidents can be avoided and your holidays will be memorable for all the right reasons."
-- Robert Preidt
Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
SOURCE: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, news release, Dec. 13, 2011
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