The ‘Shocking’ Effect Involving Christmas Light Accidents

The ‘Shocking’ Effect Involving Christmas Light Accidents

Christmas – what a wonderful time of the year! It’s the holiday season where the radiant glow of festive lights has the power to transform even the gloomiest winter nights into one of joy. However, the captivating spectacle sometimes obscures potential hazards, such as electrical shocks or burns, from issues like faulty wiring and overloaded circuits. 

Determining the locus of responsibility, be it exclusively with homeowners or extending to manufacturers, retailers, and local authorities overseeing public displays, underscores the collective obligation for safety. If you believe you’ve wrongfully suffered an electrical shock or burn due to Christmas lights, reach out to a qualified personal injury attorney in your state. 

 By delving into these considerations, we aim to ensure that the brilliance of the season remains untarnished by unexpected accidents, fostering a secure and joyful atmosphere for all.

How It Happens

For an electrical shock or burn to happen, electricity must come in contact with your body. Your body naturally acts as a conduit. The longer you’re in touch with electricity, the more damage that can happen to your body. Not only can a superficial burn happen to your skin, but unseen, your internal organs and tissue can suffer as well. Always seek medical attention if you have suffered an electrical shock or burn. 

An electrical shock or burn can happen in many different instances with Christmas lights that can include:

  • Changing bulbs without turning off the power
  • Using lights meant for indoors, outdoors
  • Waiting too long to replace burnt-out bulbs
  • Using lights with nicked or exposed wires 
  • Overloading sockets
  • Connecting different sets together

Possible Long Term Effects 

Suffering an electrical shock or burn can lead to lasting effects including a delayed onset of symptoms up to one to five years after the injury. The impacts of injury can affect you neurologically, psychologically, ocularly, and physically. With symptoms showing later, it can be hard to prove who is at fault and can require the help of an attorney if you wish to file a lawsuit.

Safety Measures To Put in Place 

There are several precautions consumers can take when using Christmas lights. 

  • Inside for inside and outside for outside
      • Do not use lights, extension cords, and surge protectors meant for indoors outdoors, and vice versa. Components made to be utilized indoors are not manufactured to withstand outside weather conditions. 
  • Replacing a bulb without turning off the power
      • When you are going to replace a Christmas light bulb because it’s burned out, do not replace it while the lights are still on. This significantly increases the chance of you being shocked. Instead, locate the burnt-out bulb and mark it with tape or by holding it. Then, turn off your Christmas lights and replace the bulbs 
  • Don’t wait too long to replace
      • Often when a bulb isn’t replaced and the other bulbs are still on, they take on the burnt-out bulb’s electrical load. This means all other lights are burning brighter and hotter. Not only can they become so hot they’ll melt the base of the bulb, but potentially cause fire. 
  • Use replacement bulbs of the same type and voltage 
      • Using bulbs that are not meant to handle the electric load will increase changes shock or even a fire 
  • No tacks or staples
    • Utilizing items with metal in them to hold up your lights can interact with the electricity running through the wires, especially if there is a break in the wire protective covering. Using non-conductive materials such as plastic is a better route. 

What To Do After An Electrical Accident

The average Christmas light voltage can run as high as 230 volts which is considered low-voltage. If any of the following symptoms appear after a low-voltage shock, go to the nearest emergency department:

  • Noticeable burns on the skin
  • Unconsciousness
  • Numbness, tingling, paralysis, vision, hearing, or speech problems
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Seizures
  • Currently pregnant
  • Any other worrisome symptoms

Though unforeseen incidents can happen to anyone, you can proactively adopt some of the preventive measures mentioned above to safeguard yourself and others from electrical shocks and burns this holiday season. 

Regularly inspecting and maintaining your lighting setup, promptly addressing any issues, and educating others on safety measures can collectively contribute to a season free from electrical accidents. A joyful and secure celebration begins with a commitment to responsible practices when it comes to holiday lighting.