PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates more than 15,000 injuries related to holiday decorating occurred in November and December of last year.

That was an increase for the fourth consecutive year.

The most common injuries were falls from ladders, cuts and lacerations and back strains.

Another potentially deadly holiday hazard is fires that are related to unattended candles and to live Christmas trees that can ignite in seconds.

With live trees, freshness is key.

“The needles should not easily detach. They should be able to bend between your fingers. And when you bring that fresh tree home, make sure you keep it well-watered and away from heat sources,” CPSC spokesperson Kim Dulic said.

Both indoor and outdoor lights and wiring should be checked before you deck the halls, and periodically throughout the season.

“You want to make sure there is no damage to the light sets. Look for broken bulbs, look for exposed sockets, or bare wires, and if you find damage, discard that set, and start with a new one,” Dulic said.

Bright shiny objects can be magnets for young children and pets. Small decorations that can be swallowed and glass ornaments that can shatter and lead to cuts, should be kept out of reach.

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