Decorating your home for the holidays can be a joyful experience. EFSI reports as many as 86 percent of Americans do at least some home decorating as a part of their holiday celebrations.
Unfortunately, decorative products can sometimes be poorly designed or badly made and can turn into a major hazard. It is imperative homeowners, renters, and commercial property owners understand risks associated with holiday décor so they can look for safe products and avoid potentially causing serious injuries to themselves or others.
Defective Holiday Decorations Create the Risk of House Fires
Holiday lights and pre-lit trees are popular during this time of year, but there are risks to the use of these products. Myth Busters indicates holiday lights come equipped with standard safety fuses in plugs, but these safety fuses don’t always prevent electrical shorts which can set holiday trees ablaze. Some decorations are more safely designed than others, and consumers may not be aware of what to look for in order to ensure they don’t create a risk of burn injuries caused by a fire breaking out due to poorly-manufactured holiday décor products.
EFSi has some tips for shopping for consumers who plan to decorate their homes:
- Always purchase electrical equipment which indicates on its label that it has undergone testing by a nationally recognized laboratory. Three labs to look for that usually conduct safety testing include Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Underwriters Laboratory (UL), and Intertek (ETL).
- Purchase products only from retail stores which are trusted stores. You do not want to purchase counterfeit products which may not have undergone necessary testing for safety.
- Send in registration and warranty forms to manufacturers of holiday décor items. By sending in warranty cards, you will be promptly alerted in the event any of your holiday décor products need to be recalled due to defects which increase safety risks.
- Choose a Fire Resistant artificial tree if you do not plan to have a real tree in your home. Fire-resistant trees should have a label on the packaging. If you opt for a natural tree instead of an artificial one, looking for a tree which has vibrant green needles suggesting it is well hydrated. A dry tree is more likely to catch fire if Christmas lights end up malfunctioning.
- Consider LED Christmas lights rather than traditional incandescent Christmas lights. LEDs generate less heat, and can be much more durable than glass lights because they are made with epoxy lenses rather than glass lenses. LEDs should also be made by trusted companies, as they can still be defective and malfunction if the proper safety protocols are not followed by manufacturers.
If a fire does break out due to defective holiday decorations, manufacturers should be held responsible for all resulting injuries provided you can prove the product was used as recommended for its intended purpose.
If you are the victim of Massachusetts product liability, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.
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