Holiday accidents are an unfortunate side effect of the season. While many of these are completely avoidable, some occur due in part to the negligence of another party. Many seemingly innocent holiday themed items in your home can actually be dangerous products hidden in plain sight.
Even if you’ve had your decorations up for over a month, holiday decorating accidents can happen at any time depending on the circumstances. In fact, During the Christmas season, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that an average of 160 people are injured each day during the holiday season while decorating their homes.
The Nevada personal injury attorneys at ER Injury Attorneys want you to celebrate and decorate safely, which is why we’ve compiled this list of tips to prevent holiday accidents.
Types of Holiday Accidents
Most holiday accidents are a result of negligence either from another party or from simply not acting safely. Any type of accident or injury during the holiday season could be considered a “holiday accident.” There are some common holiday accidents that frequently lead to injuries, such as:
- Falls: falling off a ladder, tripping and falling, or falling off the roof while decorating outdoors are common injuries during the holiday season. Slip and fall accidents are also common during rain, snow, and ice. These holiday injuries often lead to broken bones and other injuries.
- Fires: burn injuries are prevalent during the holiday season due to fireplaces, candles, faulty decorations, and more. Cooking fires from grease, unattended stoves, and ovens are also associated with the holiday season.
- Car Accidents: during the holiday season, rates of impaired driving skyrocket. Additionally, bad weather and heavy traffic also contribute to an increase in car accidents around the holidays.
- Food and alcohol related incidents: all that tasty food and possible alcohol consumed during the holiday season can leave you feeling sick or even injured. The risks of drunk driving accidents, alcohol poisoning, and food poisoning due to improper food storage and mishandling of food increase this time of year.
- Cuts and abrasions: opening a package or wrapping a gift while using scissors or a knife carelessly can lead you to spending the night in the emergency room.
Holiday Accidents: 8 Tips To Stay Safe
It is still possible to celebrate this holiday season safely and still have fun. It doesn’t take much planning or time to prepare in advance before decorating, throwing a holiday party, or hitting the road to travel to visit family. By following these tips to avoid holiday accidents, you can celebrate responsibly.
When putting up holiday decorations, especially outdoors, never do it alone. Always have someone with you in case of an emergency. If using a ladder, make sure to properly secure it and know how to set it up before using it. Ladders are dangerous and it doesn’t take much to trigger a fall.
Before decking the halls, make sure any electric decorations are safe to use. Older decorations that have been used again and again can wear and wires can fray. Pay extra attention to outdoor lights. Also, make sure to secure large and hanging decorations.
Prepare Your Car for Winter Weather
Driving in winter weather can be dangerous beyond slippery roads. When hitting the road in winter weather, there are a few things you double check, including your tire treads and pressure as well as fluid levels. Also, make sure you have a winter emergency kit in your car with supplies like an ice scraper, jumper cables, first aid kit, and blankets.
Have a Designated Driver
If you’re going to be going out to bars or parties this holiday season, plan ahead and arrange for a designated driver. Preventing impaired driving during the holiday season is vital for public safety. During the holiday season, impaired driving rates increase dramatically. Avoiding an accident caused by drunk driving can save your own life as well as prevent the wrongful deaths of innocent victims.
Limit Fire Hazards
During the holiday season, candles and fireplaces are standard decor. The open flames from lit candles are massive fire hazards, especially if you have children or pets. Use electric tea lights instead of real candles to avoid an open flame. If using a fireplace, make sure to clean the chimney prior to lighting a fire and do not burn wet or damp wood.
In addition to candles and fireplaces, remember to always keep an eye on anything cooking on the stove or oven. Don’t leave pots and pans unattended while cooking. Before leaving or going to sleep, double check that your oven has been turned off. Always have a fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen and in any room with a fireplace.
Be Mindful of Food Safety
At holiday gatherings, food is often left out buffet style, which can lead to unsafe conditions and possibly food poisoning. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends refrigerating leftovers within two hours to prevent bacteria growth. Remember to wash your hands before and after handling any food, especially raw meat or fish, and to clean kitchen surfaces with antibacterial wipes or cleaner.
Be Careful with Sharp Objects
Wrapping and unwrapping gifts, decorations, etc. usually involves opening packages and cutting. Be extra careful when using scissors, knives, or other sharp objects. Broken decorations like ornaments and glass figurines are also a hazard for cuts and injuries. If you break an ornament or any glass, make sure to clean it up immediately.
Keep It Tidy
Make sure to clean up after yourself when decorating, wrapping gifts, or getting ready for a party. Keep walkways free of clutter to prevent slip and fall accidents.
Holiday Accident? Call ER Injury Attorneys
The team at ER Injury Attorneys wants you to have a safe and happy holiday season celebrating with family friends. It doesn’t take much time to take the steps in order to avoid holiday accidents. Even if you try to make your holiday gathering safe, it is impossible to completely avoid holiday accidents. In case an accident does occur, ER Injury Attorneys can help.
If you’ve been injured in an accident during the holiday season due to the negligence of another, call ER Injury Attorneys right away. We’ve helped clients in Las Vegas, Henderson, Summerlin, Boulder City, and Pahrump obtain damages like pain and suffering, lost wages, and more for their injuries. We are available 24/7 and during the holidays to help those injured in accidents.