Don’t get hurt hanging holiday lights after Thanksgiving

Legacy Emanuel Medical Center sent out this public service announcement this week, warning everyone to be careful when hanging holiday lights:

The day after Thanksgiving is the most popular time of the year to put up outdoor Christmas lights and the recent rain storms have dumped numerous leaves into our gutters.

“If you are going up on a ladder, get help and don’t do it alone,” says trauma surgeon, Dr. Seth Izenberg. “Do it safely.”

Legacy Emanuel physicians have seen six deaths from ladder falls since 2007 and 323 have been treated for injuries, which is an average of almost 71 a year. Common injuries include: heel fractures, spine fractures and severe head injuries. Patients will face a long recovery time and in some cases, permanent pain.

Ladder Fall Prevention Tips
Inspect the Ladder
o Check the ladder for any loose screws, hinges or rungs that you might not have fixed before you put it away for the winter. Clean off any mud or other liquids that might have accumulated on the ladder.

  • Properly Set Up the Ladder
    o Ladder should be placed on a firm, level surface.
    o Never place a ladder on ground that is uneven.
    o Remember always to engage the ladder locks or braces before you climb.

  • Be Careful When Climbing and Get Help If You Need It
    o Be safe. Ask someone to hold the ladder while you climb.
    o Stay in the center of the ladder as you climb, and always hold the side rails with both hands.

  • Always Reposition the Ladder Closer to the Work
    o Over-reaching or leaning far to one side when you’re on the ladder could make you lose your balance and fall.

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