Safety first: Avoiding falls in the Fall

Each year millions of older adults those 65 and older fall. More than one out of four older people falls each year.

Fall is a fitting name when it comes to seasonal injuries. Federal statistics show falls are more common in autumn and most falls involve ladders and people putting up holiday lights and decorations

Before you try to impress the neighbors by dragging a 12-foot skeleton onto your roof by yourself, here are some simple dos and don’ts to remember while decorating, courtesy of the Consumer Product Safety Commission:

  • Always select the correct ladder for the job. If you’re working on the roof, a safe extension ladder should extend at least three feet over the roofline.
  • Always place your ladder on level and firm ground.
  • Use a leg leveler if you’re on soft or uneven ground
  • Make sure both legs have slip-resistant feet.

When setting up a straight or extension ladder, it should be at a 75-degree angle to your house. To test the angle, stand up straight with your toes touching the feet of the ladder as it leans away. Extend your arms in front of you. Your palms should be able to touch the top rung of the ladder at shoulder level. If possible, have a helper hold the bottom of the ladder.

Also, that warning on the top step isn’t for decoration. It’s not a step, so don’t stand on it.

Lighting also makes a difference. You might want to have the spookiest house on the block, but you also want to make it easy for kids in masks or costumes that drag on the ground to make it safely to and from your door.

Set up decorations to highlight walkways and double-check to make sure lights and cords don’t create tripping hazards.

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