Around the holidays, ‘Ho ho ho’ often turns into ‘Ho ho help!’ So here’s how to avoid a few disasters while you’re ‘decking the halls’. Courtesy of the experts at Reader’s Digest:
- Disaster #1: Superhero Syndrome. The holidays seem to bring out our inner Spider-Man - we think we can scale our multi-story homes to put up Christmas lights. But emergency rooms treat almost 13 thousand people each year for injuries related to holiday decorating. So how do you stay safe? If you’re using a ladder outdoors, do so in daylight – and don’t decorate if it’s snowy or icy. And the Home Safety Council recommends using the ‘4 to 1’ rule: For every 4 feet you plan to climb, move the base of the ladder out one foot. And if your belt buckle is above the ladder’s top rung, you’ve gone too high.
- Fires. Studies show that Christmas trees are responsible for almost 400 fires each year! And candles are to blame for almost 18 thousand home fires! So if you want to avoid calling the fire department, never leave candles burning in an empty room, and keep them away from your tree. Also, water your tree often, and do a ‘freshness’ test every few days: Gently squeeze a branch as you run your fingers along it. If you get a fistful of needles, the tree is too dry – and could be a fire hazard.
- Card cramp. Writing holiday greetings to hundreds of friends and family members can take a serious toll on your hands. What should you do? Take a 5-minute break every half hour to give your hands a rest. But if you don’t feel like writing any cards, head to the website ‘fontifier .com.’ For 9 bucks, you can create a computer font that looks just like your handwriting. Then, you can type all your ‘handwritten’ notes. But even if you’re typing, you should still take periodic breaks to stretch your hands.