(CPSC news release) The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates there were 15,000 injuries involving holiday decorating seen in emergency departments nationwide during November and December 2012.
This is the fourth consecutive year these estimates have increased. In each year since 2009, there have been an estimated 12,000 or more emergency department visits. Falling from a ladder and stepping on broken ornaments may be funny in holiday movies but in real life, these and similar mishaps result in visits to the emergency room, or calls to fire departments, for thousands of consumers each year.
“There are about 250 injuries a day during the holiday season. Adding safety to your checklist can keep a holiday tradition from becoming a holiday tragedy,” said CPSC Acting Chairman Robert Adler. “Keep Christmas trees watered well, don’t leave candles unattended, and use caution whenever you are on a ladder.”
In 2012, the most frequently reported holiday decorating incidents seen in emergency departments involved falls (34%), lacerations (11%) and back strains (10%). When it comes to fires, from 2009 through 2011, fire departments nationwide responded to an average of 200 fires in which the Christmas tree was the first item ignited. These incidents resulted in 10 deaths, 20 injuries and $16 million in property loss. In addition, candle-related fires from 2009 through 2011 have resulted in an estimated 70 deaths, 680 injuries and $308 million in property loss.