Tis The Season To Be Jolly – And Injured
Safety Tips To Avoid Holiday Injuries
The holidays are upon us and all is merry and bright. however, tis also the season for injuries. The risk for injuries goes up during the holidays. Practicing safety and avoiding unsafe products may be your best bet to stay safe this season. Read this to learn how to avoid holiday injuries.
Oh Christmas Tree
As beautiful as Christmas trees are and as merry as they make us feel, they can pose a threat to our safety and our home. Approximately 1 in 3 fires within the home involve a Christmas tree. In conjunction, there are an estimated 20 injuries per year, with 10 proving fatal. Here’s how to keep your home safe:
- Keep your tree watered! Dry trees are the most flammable
- Place the tree away from heat sources like candles, fireplace, radiators
- Turn your tree lights off at night
- Remove tree when its needles are heavily shedding
Not only are Christmas trees flammable, but they also run the risk of hurting a person or pet if they tilt and fall. Here are some tips to keep your tree from falling over:
- Use a heavy tree stand
- Place tree trunk evenly in the tree stand
- Place away from the door and away from possible wind gusts
- Stabilize tree at the base with bricks or wood
- Keep tempting ornaments out of reach of small children and pets
The Consumer Protection Product Safety Commission stated candles cause 6,500 fires within homes each year. Candles are associated with holiday décor.
Candle-related injuries and deaths are four times more likely this time of year. Over 650 instances of injury, with over 80 fatalities, occur per year due to candle injuries. Here’s how to prevent candle fires that can lead to injury/death:
- Maintain one foot of space between candles and anything flammable
- Place candles on steady, even surfaces
- Ensure all candles are blown out before bed or leaving the home
- Place candles in hurricane jar
Each year, there are over 15,000 injuries related to holiday decorations. Defective holiday lights have been known to spark and cause house fires. Frayed cords can also start a fire. Here are some tips to prevent injury and death from defective lights:
- Check the lights and cord for damage before decorating the tree
- Ensure no bulbs are burnt out
- Use LED lights
- Inspect for any cracked or frayed wiring
- Remove lights within 90 days
- Do not overload extension cords
- Use exterior-type cords and plugs for all outdoor lights
- Turn lights off at bedtime
A defect in the manufacturing or labeling can contribute to personal injury/death. This can be grounds for a product liability claim.
Hanging decorations on the exterior of the home often require a ladder. Ladder accidents are the most prominent this time of year. Over 41% of slip-and-falls are related directly to falling while using a ladder. The CDC states hospitals treat around 17,000 people during the holidays for fall-related injuries.
- Ensure sidewalks are clear of ice/snow
- Stabilize ladders on even, non-slick ground
- Inspect ladder for defects/loose rungs
- Place ladder evenly against the home/roof with tested stability
- Have an extra person on the ground to help stabilize the ladder
The holiday season increases the likelihood of more impaired and careless drivers on the road. Alcohol, distractions, busy roads, and extreme weather conditions create dangerous conditions. They all contribute to a higher risk of car accident injuries and wrongful death this time of year. Here’s how to stay safe this season:
- DO NOT drink and drive – Call a cab!
- “Winter-proof” your vehicle – check fluids, rotate tires, check anti-freeze
- Put away your cell phone
- Give yourself extra time to get to your destination
- ALWAYS buckle up
- Stay away from erratic drivers
- Never tailgate. Always keep at least 3 seconds between you and the car in front of you
Lancaster Area Injury Law Firm
The team here at Haggerty and Silverman wishes you a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season. We are here to assist with all your legal questions. Call or text us today at 717-397-3200 to speak to a professional member of our legal staff. Or, fill out our online contact form to schedule a free legal consultation today.