Posted in on December 4, 2017

Staying Safe from Holiday Hazards

The winter holidays are exciting times for families in the United States and around the world. From gift giving to turkey dinners, most people look forward to December for the cozy fun that comes with it. But the holidays can also be an unforgettable time for another reason: the rise in personal injuries.

In many cases, personal injuries happen to be casualties of holiday fun, decorations, and inclement weather. Here are a few of the most common personal injuries that occur around the holidays:

Slip and fall accidents

Decorations are almost essential for Christmas, Hanukkah, and other winter holiday celebrations. But did you know that many slip and fall accidents occur while people are putting up Christmas lights, hanging garlands, or standing on ladders?

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), fall injuries occur most during the holidays. To prevent these injuries, the CDC recommends using step stools to put up decorations instead of unstable surfaces like furniture. You should also ask your friends or family members to give you a hand in the decorating.

Burns

Because so many house fires occur around Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and even New Year’s, the winter holidays are known as home fire season. Many fires are caused by lit candles, Christmas tree lights, cooking and baking, and the use of space heaters. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates that 30 percent of home fires occur during the holidays.

While Christmas tree fires are not extremely common, they can happen when trees are exposed to heat. In fact, 26 percent of Christmas tree fires happen when heat sources like candles or space heaters get too close to the tree’s branches. The NFPA recommends throwing out Christmas trees before they dry out, checking tree lights for broken cords or poor bulb connections, and turning off Christmas tree lights when you leave the house or go to sleep.

Car accidents

Colorado’s white Christmases are something to behold—but winter roads are a very real concern. When heavy snowfall, rain, and freezing temperatures meet, drivers need to look out for black ice, slick roads, and a lack of tire traction. It’s important to keep in mind safe driving tips like slowing down, not following cars too closely, and avoiding distractions like cell phones.

It’s true that in December icy, snowy roads are often packed with last-minute holiday shoppers. However, another risk that comes with the holidays is that of drunk driving. It goes without saying that the holidays are full of family, friend, and work parties—and often a plethora of alcohol. This in turn leads to more drunk drivers on the road. In fact, former President Barack Obama declared December of 2016 National Impaired Driving Prevention Month.

During the holidays, the last thing you want to think about is unexpected disasters—but they can happen. And if they do, it’s comforting to know that Bachus & Schanker, LLC’s devoted team of personal injury lawyers is there for you. If you or someone you know was injured this holiday season, contact Bachus & Schanker, LLC to see if working with a personal injury lawyer is the right move for you.

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/family/holiday/holidaytips.pdf

http://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Research/Fire-statistics-and-reports/Fire-statistics/Fire-causes/Holiday/Christmas-tree-and-holiday-lights

https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2016/11/30/presidential-proclamation-national-impaired-driving-prevention-month

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