12.05.2012

Holiday Lights Should Bring Joy, not Tragedy

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” or at least the brightest. Modest-to-magnificent holiday lighting displays are offering a warm welcome in Northeastern Pennsylvania’s homes, neighborhoods and towns. The last thing anybody wants is for such a beautiful holiday tradition to be marred by a tragedy such as a fire, injury or loss of life.

Designers, manufacturers and consumers have equal responsibilities for making sure holiday lighting is safe.

Defective holiday lights or decorations can result in severe damage to properties or people. Lights can malfunction or explode, causing fires which — in addition to causing property damage — can cause injuries such as burns or smoke inhalation, or even death. Causes for defective lighting or decorations might be product design, manufacturing or labeling (or mislabeling). Any number of people might be considered responsible for the injuries, from wholesalers to retailers and anyone else connected with getting the defective product to the consumer.

If you have been injured by a faulty light or decoration it is important that you seek medical treatment right away, keep records of your medical visits and hold onto the product. Then, speak with a product-related injury attorney such as one of the attorneys at Powell Law.

Consumers play their part

Consumers, too, have a responsibility for making sure holiday lighting and decorations are safe. The following suggestions come from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission at www.cpsc.gov.

• Indoors or outside, use only lights that have been tested for safety. Identify these by the label from an independent testing laboratory.
• Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Discard damaged sets or repair them before using.
• Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, house, walls or other firm support to protect from wind damage.
• Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord.
• Turn off all lights on trees and other decorations when you go to bed or leave the house. Lights could short and start a fire.
• Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and any person touching a branch could be electrocuted! To avoid this danger, use colored spotlights above or beside a tree, never fastened onto it!
• Keep “bubbling” lights away from children. These lights with their bright colors and bubbling movement can tempt curious children to break candle-shaped glass, which can cut, and attempt to drink liquid, which contains a hazardous chemical.

If you have any questions regarding injuries related to holiday lighting or decorations, one of our knowledgeable attorneys at Powell Law will be happy to help you.

Since 1906, our PA personal injury lawyers have successfully represented thousands of clients in serious personal injury cases, including PA car accidents, tractor trailer accidents, motorcycle accidents, PA medical malpracticePA worker’s compslip and fallproduct-related injuries and Social Security disability claims. Our PA criminal defense attorneys represent defendants in all types of summary, misdemeanor and felony cases ranging from drunk driving cases to major crimes in both state and federal courts.

Powell Law is Northeastern Pennsylvania’s oldest PA personal injury law firm. It was established by our grandfather, Attorney James J. Powell Sr., on the principles of honor, integrity and trust. For three generations, we have upheld those principles every day – in every case.

We have offices in Scranton, Stroudsburg, Taylor and Moscow. Call us toll free at 800-290-7707.

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