Holiday Fall Prevention

Barrow Neurological Institute is reminding you to pay attention to fall prevention during the holidays.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are approximately 160 decorating-relating injuries each day during the holiday season—with nearly half of the incidents involving falls.

Falls from ladders and other holiday-related accidents can be deadly or cause debilitating brain injuries and spinal cord injuries.

Please keep the following tips in mind when you’re hanging up and taking down decorations.

Safety Tips

  1. Don’t climb alone. Never climb a ladder without someone else there to watch or help. However, only one person should be on the ladder at a time unless it’s specifically designed for two people.
  2. Don’t drink and decorate.
  3. Be firm. Set up the ladder so that it’s on a firm and level foundation. Avoid slippery and unstable surfaces. Space the base of the ladder one foot away from the wall for every four feet of ladder height. Make sure the ladder is in good working condition, with no loose or missing parts.
  4. Take your time. Never rush while hanging or removing holiday lights and decorations. Take the time to ensure you’re following all safety precautions.
  5. Be afraid of heights. Don’t stand above the fourth rung from the top of an extension ladder or three rungs from the top of a stepladder.
  6. Be aware of children. Keep kids away from ladders.
  7. Don’t slip. Wear shoes with non-slip soles, like running shoes. Keep the steps and rungs of the ladder free of water and other slippery materials.
  8. Avoid furniture. Avoid standing on chairs, couches, or other furniture when hanging or removing holiday decorations. Always use a proper stepstool or stepladder.
  9. Lock it open. Always open a stepladder completely and make sure the spreader is locked open before using the ladder.
  10. Follow the “3-Point Rule.” Always have three points of contact while on the ladder (two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand). Grip the rungs to climb – not the side rails.