Bright and beautiful holiday decorations can quickly turn into dangerous health hazards that can cause serious personal injuries. Pets and children are at greatest risk of injury and it is crucial to take steps to protect them from accidental harm. Taking proactive steps toward safety is the best way to ensure that everyone has a happy holiday season.
Protection from Poisoning
Poinsettias are poisonous, and while they look beautiful, these traditional holiday plants can be toxic when ingested. These should be kept well out of reach of children and pets and any leaves that fall off throughout the season should be promptly cleaned up to avoid the potential for injury.
Other plants such as holly and its berries should also be kept out of reach. The saponin within the berries is toxic and can be fatal if ingested in significant quantities. Similarly, the fruit from Bittersweet and Jerusalem cherry are toxic and ingestion can lead to severe GI distress, cramping, and even wrongful death.
Illuminating the Risks of Fire Hazards
Fire hazards are some of the most common holiday dangers. Common holiday fire hazards include improperly connecting light strings or improperly repairing damaged lights. Further, many homeowners fail to check the integrity of surge protectors and outlets; when these wear out, simply plugging a light string into them becomes a dangerous proposition.
Holiday fire hazards also include placing candles close to curtains, trees, and other fuel sources. Tree fires are common throughout the holiday season. They often occur when electrical faults within holiday lights ignite dry needles and the wrapping on packages. It takes less than 30 seconds for a dry Christmas Tree to erupt in flame. These fires spread quickly throughout the room and are difficult to put out which makes them a prime concern for firefighters throughout Nevada.
Chocked Full of Choking Hazards
Many holiday decorations are small and can be easily ingested by pets or children. Loose lights, fallen ornaments, figurines, nuts, and other small objects that a child or pet can pick up can pose a deadly serious threat. As with all ingestion hazards, these should be placed in a position where small children and pets simply can’t reach them. Liability for injuries caused by failure to protect a child from ingestion hazards often falls on the individual who placed the decoration.