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Safety Protocol for Decorating Around the Holidays

Holidays involve family gatherings, traveling, and making sure your home is ready for hosting. Now that Thanksgiving is over, many people take the break between holidays to decorate for the holidays. Decorating is seen as one of the best ways to get in the holiday spirit, but emergency rooms see thousands of injuries involving decorating each season. Additionally, holiday preparations can often create a fire safety hazard in homes. It is important to remember a few tips while decorating this season:

  • If you are using an artificial tree, check to make sure that it is labeled “fire-resistant.”
  • If you are using a real tree, be sure to cut off about 2 inches of the trunk to expose fresh wood for better water absorption.
  • Place your Christmas tree at least 3 feet away from heat sources, such as fireplaces and radiators.
  • Only use indoor lights inside and outdoor lights outside.
  • Be sure to choose a sturdy latter when hanging lights.
  • Replace light sets that have broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections.
  • Turn off all the lights and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house.
  • Keep potentially poisonous plants away from children, such as mistletoe, holly berries, Jerusalem cherry, and amaryllis.
  • Avoid placing breakable or small ornaments with detachable parts on lower tree branches where children can reach them.

Not only are there dangers with the set-up and placing of decorations, the National Fire Protection Association reports that approximately one-third of home decoration fires are started by candles. Using candles and fireplaces in rooms with an increased amount of decorations often creates more of a risk for a fire starting. To lower the risk of a fire, follow some of these safety tips:

  • Keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach.
  • Don’t burn trees, wreaths or wrapping paper in fireplaces.
  • Always use a screen on the fireplace while the fire is burning.
  • Place candles where they cannot be knocked down or blown over, as well as out of children’s reach.
  • Never leave candles or fireplaces burning unattended or when you are sleeping.
  • Check and clean your chimney and fireplace area at least once a year.
  • Be sure you use flameless candles near flammable objects rather than lighted ones.

Another fire safety hazard is the use of turkey fryers around the holidays, causing around 154 turkey-fryer related fires, burns and other injuries since 2004. The National Safety Council discourages the use of turkey fryers at home and urges individuals to seek out a professional establishment for fried turkey. As we head into the middle of the holiday season, it is important to exercise caution when setting up Christmas decorations and preparing food for get-togethers. The holidays are supposed to be about family and celebration, so remember these safety tips to avoid any type of injury. Unfortunately, accident-related injuries can occur even when remembering safety tips. If you or a loved one are injured due to the negligence of another party, whether it be associated with decorating, or from a fire, the attorneys at Spiros Law, P.C. are available to consult with. Contact one of our attorneys today at (217) 443-4343 to discuss your legal options.

High levels of legionella bacteria detected in three schools in Elgin

All students from three different schools in Elgin recently were evacuated after excessive levels of legionella bacteria were detected in the air conditioning systems of the schools, an article from ABC 7 reported on September 23.

School District U-46 CEO Tony Sanders reportedly ordered the immediate closure of Central Office/Gifford Street High School, Larkin High, and Eastview Middle School. Students from the affected schools were transported to other areas for their parents to pick them up. On the official Facebook page of School District U-46, Sanders stated that the bacterial contamination was discovered in the cooling towers during the yearly air quality testing in the schools. It is not clear if there were students, school staff, or teachers who became ill from bacterial exposure. People who are exposed to legionella bacteria may suffer from “Legionnaire’s disease” and may experience symptoms including breathing problems, head and body aches, and high fever.

Children unfortunately are at risk of suffering serious illnesses if they are exposed to harmful bacteria in places like schools. If this happens to your loved one, a Danville lawyer at Spiros Law, P.C., may possibly help you get the treatment funds you need if negligent parties are involved. Learn more about your legal options today by calling (217) 443-4343.

Four children drowned in separate Chicago suburb accidents

At least four children under 10 years old were killed in three separate swimming pool accidents in Chicago suburbs, the Chicago Tribune reported on June 15.

Reports said 3-year-old Liam Vaughn was declared dead at around 4:00 p.m. on June 15 after he drowned in a southwest Morris pool. Although the boy was originally wearing floats on both arms, he took them off after leaving the pool to eat. Another child, whose details were withheld, died in an accident on June 14 in St. Charles. Two children aged eight and nine drowned in a pool accident in Hobart following the first incident. Authorities in the three suburbs are investigating the tragic incidents.

At Spiros Law, P.C., our lawyers understand how painful and devastating it is to unexpectedly lose a loved one in a fatal pool accident. Our deepest condolences go to the family and friends who are suffering during this difficult time.

Fire breaks out at J&R Used Tire Service Inc

A fire, which started after an engine spark ignited rubber dust, according to Hoopeston Fire Chief Cliff Crabtree, broke out at J&R Used Tired Service Inc. this Wednesday. The fire began at 5:20 a.m. and is expected to burn for a few days. According to Fire Chief Crabtree, he “expects to be [there] another 24-36 hours.”

Although one man was sent to a local hospital for smoke inhalation, he was released soon after being admitted and no other injuries have yet to be reported.

Several residents living in the Hoopeston area have been displaced due to smoke. The Red Cross has set up temporary shelters for these people in various locations. It has also set up several air conditioned tents to provide the emergency responders with a place to escape the heat and smoke.

In addition to the Danville Fire Department’s hazardous materials division, which was on site to check the air quality, several fire and police departments from the surrounding area have responded to the scene of the fire.


Man receives $7.5 million in slip and fall verdict

A man that sued Starbucks is walking away from the trial with $7.5 million. He filed a slip and fall lawsuit against the national chain after a slip and fall injury at a San Diego Starbucks left him unable to provide for his family.

The man lost his footing in a Vista Starbucks as he was walking to pick up his order. The floor was slick and he ended up hitting his head. The complications from the head injuries he received caused him to cease work as a chiropractor.

The jury determined that Starbucks was negligent in maintaining their properties and that negligence was the sole reason why the slip and fall lawsuit was filed. The jury reached a verdict of $7.5 million, with $1 million of that amount being awarded to the man’s wife for loss of relationship aspects.

Slip and fall accidents can cause serious harm. If you have been injured as a result of a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, please contact the Danville slip and fall lawyers of Spiros Law, P.C. by calling 217-443-4343 today.

Man injured in fall at Garden of the Gods

An 18-year-old man was injured after falling from a sandstone formation at the Garden of the Gods at the Shawnee National Forest.

The forest is located in southern Illinois and the incident occurred over the weekend as the victim was visiting the park. The park is a popular destination for rock climbers and hikers.

The man fell nearly 25 feet to the ground from a sandstone formation and possibly suffered from a head injury, but was conscious when emergency crews arrived at the scene. The man was near Camel Rock when he fell. The victim has not been identified at this time.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident, you need experienced representation on your side. Contact the Danville slip and fall lawyers of Spiros Law, P.C., today by calling 217-443-4343 today.

Five killed, dozens injured when stage falls at Indiana State Fair

Five people were killed and dozens more were injured after a stage collapsed at the Indiana State Fair while concert-goers waited for the main act, Sugarland, to perform.

Organizers with the state fair have stated that they thought they had more time, at least 30 minutes, before the storm hit the area. They were in contact with officials from the National Weather Service during this time in order to determine if the grounds should be evacuated.

Officials made an announcement that  concert-goers should seek cover from the storm, but did not require them to leave. Before an evacuation was made mandatory, the 60 to 70 mph gusts of wind caused the stage to collapse onto the crowd and trapped dozens underneath.

Five people were killed as a result,  four of them were pronounced dead on the scene. Dozens more were taken to the hospital with critical injuries. It was said by officials that an isolated wind gust caused the stage to fall.

Fire near University still under investigation

The Champaign Fire Department is still investigating what caused the fire that damaged many buildings near the University of Illinois Champaign campus.

The building that houses Zorba’s Restaurant was damaged in the fire when its roof collapsed. This building also houses university buildings, another cafe and apartments. The business have decided to demolish the third floor where the majority of the fire damage occurred.

The fire was reported at 8 a.m. on Wednesday and took nearly two hours to get under control. A decision is being made on what will be done with the building and after that is made, the rest of the investigation can take place.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a fire accident, you need experienced representation on your side. Contact the Danville fire accident lawyers of Spiros Law, P.C., by calling 217-443-4343 today.

Two killed in Danville house fire

According to officials, a fire killed two young girls in their Danville home. Two adults and two other young children managed to escape the home.

The Vermilion County coroner announced that the 5-year-old and 4-year-old were pronounced dead at 6:35 p.m. on the day of the fire.

The Danville Fire Department are currently investigating to find the cause  and no other details of the event were released at this time.

Fire accidents and other premises liability cases can cause severe damage to property and severely injure those involved, our thoughts are with the friends and family of the victims during this difficult time.