NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — ‘Tis the season to be merry, without question! But unfortunately, it’s also the season to get injured as folks decorate both inside and outside their homes.
Maria Abazis-Zoukas says she’s proud of how her entire family starts early each year to elaborately decorate their Suffolk County home for the Holidays.
“The kids love it, they’ve done all these decorations in and out, starting right after Thanksgiving,” the Commack resident told CBS2.
Maria’s brother is a licensed electrician and oversees the yearly decorations to be sure they’re all done safely. But not everyone is so careful. Each year, hundreds of people end up in the emergency room from accidents decorating their homes.
“Around the holidays, we do see an increase in patients with hand lacerations from opening presents, we do see an increase in patients sustaining falls because they’re on step-stools with ladders,” Dr. Alan Kaplan from Plainview Hospital said.
The injuries begin shortly after folks start shopping for that perfect Christmas tree. For more than 30 years, Stephen Bay has been selling live trees from a lot in Commack.
“Number one, you should have the tree cut by the person on the lot,” he recommended.
He says customers sometimes cut themselves attempting to saw off the tree stump or from using box cutters to trim the tree top.
“If you’re using a box cutter, you have a tendency for it to slip through the branch because it’s sappy,” Bay said.
While extravagantly lit homes are a wonder to see, stringing all those lights can be quite dangerous. Experts warn that if your home has a steep, gabled roof you should hire professionals who use harnesses to safely scale rooftops while tying down any ladders.
“There has to be somebody holding the ladder for you and when you’re walking on the roof somebody has to hold onto you with a rope,” exterior home decorator Isaias Martinez said.
Also, make sure your holiday lights are UL rated to prevent being shocked. Defective lights can also start a fire.