Amid the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, injury proofing your home’s interior and exterior may be far from the top of the to-do list. Give yourself a gift this holiday season–prevent accidents instead of paying for them later. This year, consider some of the following holiday decorating safety tips as you deck the halls and hang the mistletoe – and help insulate yourself from unnecessary exposure to legal woes, liability, and lawsuits.
Exterior home decorating
There are a number of things to consider when decorating the outside of your home, beginning with the sidewalk and driveway. As the seasons change, be mindful of the areas out front that may be frequented by neighbors, children, and visiting guests – and keep these walkways free of debris, clutter, ice, and snow.
Another source of concern for any exterior home decorator is exercising proper safety procedures when installing holiday lights – particularly if snow has already fallen. Obviously, be sure your hands and the surrounding areas are dry when hanging and testing electrical lights. Moreover, keep lights properly fastened to the home structure to avoid any instances with dangerous dangling wires. Lastly, always be sure to follow the instructions when installing any electrical device so as to reduce the risks of fires or blown fuses.
Keeping safe indoors
Fires continue to be the preeminent concern over the holidays, as cluttered mantles or poorly placed menorahs can quickly engulf in a fury of deadly fire. As always, be sure to keep candles out of the way of children, pets, and flammable items – and practice the utmost in safety precautions if you are leaving the tree lit for Santa.
Other possible indoor hazards include poinsettias and mistletoe (both of which are poisonous, poinsettias mildly so), unsupervised play with hazardous toys and games, burns from the stove or oven, tripping over extension cords, and a host of other perilous problems. In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported nearly 13,000 decorating-relating emergency room visits in December 2010 – reminding all of us to play it safe and avoid unnecessary falls, which the CPSC reports are the most common holiday-related injury.
Who pays for my injuries if I sue?
If you suffer injuries on someone else’s property this year, you can file a claim with the person’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. That way, you do not need to be worried about suing a family member or a loved one for your injuries.
If you have questions about how make a claim after injuries on someone else’s property, contact attorney Jason Schultz in Atlanta today at 404-474-0804 or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation.