It's the time of year to deck out your house in holiday lights. However, that festive fun often leads to minor injuries.
"A lot of people will have wrist fractures cause they try to stop themselves as they fall," said Michelle Bay, Trauma Nurse Clinician at COX South. "We'll see lower extremity fractures, leg fractures, ankle fractures, back fractures, concussions and head bleeds because people don't brace their ladders properly.
It's best to always have someone else helping you out. Plus, use your ladder the right way while stringing up lights and boughs of holly.
"Don't ever try to put it on ice or on an unstable surface. Always use the middle runs of the ladder and don't try to skip runs going up that ladder," Bay said. "Don't put it on guttering or anything unstable and don't put it where you can't reach. If you have to reach way above to start grabbing at stuff, pulling stuff down, do not do that."
Only use lights which have been inspected by a third-party. If you see a UL on the tag or box you're good to go.
"Typically the ones that don't are going to be the ones that are incredibly inexpensive. So, I always tell people if it seems too good to be true it probably is," said Cara Erwin, Fire and life safety educator for the Springfield Fire department. "There's a good chance if you're getting an incredible deal on Christmas lights, I mean they're way less expensive than you ever imagined them to be, it might be because they're not being properly certified by a safety company.
It's recommended to only use at most five light strands per outlet. Only use outdoor specific lights because they're more durable and weatherproof.
Avoid having your lights on all the time because it strains the electrical system and can cause a fire.
"What I tell people is you always want to pay attention to your electrical system," Erwin said. "If you notice something is off like the lights are flashing more often or you're blowing fuses or even you're noticing a black soot around your electrical outlet, that's a sign that you're straining your electrical system and you want to get it looked at by a professional."