5 holiday hazards homeowners should watch out for

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2023 | Premises Liability

A home decked with bright lights and cheery ornaments can get anyone into the holiday mood. But accidents also tend to spike this time of year. As you prepare to deck the halls, being mindful of safety risks can help ensure celebrations stay bright and merry.

While keeping a festive spirit is good, be aware that the risk of accidents increases the more visitors you expect. If anyone gets into an accident on your property, they could hold you liable for resulting injuries or expenses. To avoid this, here are some common hazards to look out for:

1.      Cluttered pathways

Decorations, extension cords, presents and gift wraps on the floor can present a tripping hazard to a home full of visitors. Someone might trip over loose cables on the floor or slip after stepping on an ornament.

When planning your holiday décor, ensure that nothing blocks walkways. Installing decorations in the corners, taping cables to the floor and providing enough lighting may help prevent mishaps.

2.      Dangerous walkways

Weather conditions can make outdoor walkways potential slip-and-fall hazards. To help your guests enter and leave your home safely, consider placing non-slip rugs by your front door. Shoveling snow regularly and applying salt or sand on icy surfaces may also improve traction.

Inside your home, accidental spills or leaks from appliances can make your floors a slippery hazard. Mop away any spilled liquids immediately and consider blocking off wet areas until they are completely dry.

3.      Faulty lights

Holiday lights provide a festive atmosphere, but installing defective lights may cause electrocution or fires. Before putting up lights, inspect each string for damage and perform a quick test. Frayed wires or damaged bulbs may indicate the need for replacement.

Additionally, avoid leaving your lights on overnight. Not only could this save you from expensive power bills, but it also helps prevent the lights from overheating or short-circuiting.

4.      Fires

Using real Christmas trees is a beloved tradition for many households, but they are a known fire hazard. Every year, U.S. firefighters put out 200 fires related to Christmas trees. This does not mean that artificial trees are not a potential fire hazard as well.

Often, Christmas tree fires result from broken holiday lights or a tree’s proximity to a heat source.

5.      Overloading outlets

While a display of lights and animated decorations would look good on your home, overloading your outlets could be a big mistake. Plugging too many decorations into one outlet or extension cord could spark a fire.

The holidays are the perfect time to show off a beautifully decorated home. However, the season’s excitement can make it easy to overlook safety hazards. With a little proactive risk management, you can celebrate the festive season smoothly and safely.

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