Smiley & Smiley, LLP

Please read before taking down your holiday decorations

The winter holiday season has now come and gone. And unless you plan on leaving up neutral colored lights for the rest of the winter, chances are that you have either begun taking down your holiday decorations or are planning on doing so in the near future. It is important that you take time to ensure that you are not storing away any dangerous, recalled or defective products as you sort through your holiday decorations.

Many Americans are unaware of the fact that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalls numerous holiday decorations on an annual basis. As a result, many of these potentially hazardous products get stored away and brought back out year after year until they harm someone. By taking a little time to ensure that none of your decorations have been recalled in recent years, you can better ensure that next year’s holiday season will be a safe one.

First, toss out any decorations that obviously pose a hazard to you and your loved ones. For example, a given string of lights may not have been recalled, but if that string has a frayed cord or has loose wires sprouting from those that are secured, this light string poses a potential safety hazard and should be thrown away.

Second, check the CPSC’s website to ensure that any holiday decorations you own that are in any way electrical, involve candles or are powered by batteries have not been recalled due to safety concerns. This process may be a bit time consuming, but your efforts will be rewarded when your family and property remain safe next holiday season.

Source: The Plain Dealer, “Don't put dangerous Christmas items back in the attic,” Sheryl Harris, Dec. 26, 2013

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