Hospital offers tips for safely decking the halls

Each year, thousands of Americans are injured, many of them seriously, in holiday decorating accidents.

Dignity Health Chandler Regional Medical Center’s Level I trauma team is urging Tempe/West Chandler residents to be cautious while decorating their homes this holiday season.

Here’s a list of safety tips people should practice when climbing to string holiday lights.

  • Don’t climb alone. Never climb
    a ladder to string lights or hang ornaments without someone to watch or help. Be sure there’s only one person at a time on a ladder unless the ladder is specifically designed for two people.
  • Don’t drink and decorate.
  • Be firm. Set up the ladder so that it’s on a firm, secure and level foundation. Avoid slippery surfaces. Space the base of the ladder one foot away from the wall for every four feet of ladder height. Check that the ladder is in good working condition, with no loose or missing parts.
  • Take your time. Never rush while hanging holiday lights and decorations. The faster you decorate, the more likely you are to overlook simple safety rules that can prevent a serious injury.
  • Be afraid of heights. Don’t stand above the fourth rung from the top of an extension ladder or three rungs from the top of a step-ladder.
  • Be aware of children. Keep kids away from ladders.
  • Don’t slip. Wear shoes with non- slip soles. Running shoes are a good choice. Keep the steps and rungs of the ladder free of water and slippery materials.
  • Avoid furniture. Avoid standing on chairs, couches or other furniture when hanging holiday decorations. Always use the proper step stool or ladder.
  • Lock it open. Always open a stepladder completely and make sure the spreader is locked open before using the ladder.
  • Practice the 3-point rule. Always have three points of contact while on the ladder (two hands, one foot or two feet, one hand). Grip the rungs to climb – not the side rails.


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