Holiday Safety Tips

You might be looking forward to putting up your Christmas tree and cooking your favorite holiday meals…but recognize the risks of these activities that lead to thousands of accidents and injuries each year. These and other popular holiday activities often put unknowing homeowners in danger. This winter holiday season, do not become an accident statistic. Use a few holiday safety tips to keep you and your family safe while you celebrate.

Car Accidents

The rate of auto accidents always spikes around the holidays. More people on the roads, families traveling for the holidays, bad weather and an increase in drunk drivers contribute to wintertime car crashes. Drunk driving is an especially common risk, with many people imbibing too much at holiday parties before attempting to drive home. Look out for signs of an intoxicated driver, such as the inability to stay in one lane or reckless driving. Stay safely back from the driver and call 911.

Decrease your odds of getting into a wreck by staying off the roads on peak travel days (including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve) and in storms. Try to make it to your destination before sundown, as the rate of drunk driving increases at night. Never drive drunk or distracted. Safely control your motor vehicle 100% of the time by staying alert and vigilant. If you get into a holiday car accident or suffer an injury in another type of incident, contact a Glendale personal injury lawyer to find out if you have a case.

House Fires

House fires are a significant risk around the winter holidays. Putting up a Christmas tree, using a real menorah or advent wreath, pulling out the old space heater, overloading circuits with holiday lights, and failing to supervise cooking food could all start a deadly fire. From 2013 to 2017, fire departments in America responded to an average of 160 house fires per year that started with Christmas trees alone. These fires cause an average of 3 deaths and 15 burn injuries annually. Help prevent Christmas tree fires by keeping yours well-watered, placing it away from sources of heat, and unplugging the lights when you are asleep or not at home.

Other common sources of house fires around the holidays are candles, faulty electrical decorations, cooking food, fireworks and intentional fires. Practice good fire safety this season by removing sources of open flames from your home, such as candles. Keep lighters, matches and fireworks out of reach of children. Always supervise cooking food. Decorate safely with non-damaged holiday lights and nonflammable decorations. Check your smoke alarms regularly and keep fire extinguishers nearby.

Cooking Scalds

Home fires are not the only burn injury risk this Christmas. Major burn injuries can occur in the kitchen while cooking holiday treats. Carefully supervise all cooking foods, especially those on the stovetop. Wear long sleeves that fit closely to your skin. Do not place anything flammable next to the stovetop or other heating appliances. If you plan on deep-frying a turkey, do so outside, at least 10 feet away from any structures. Wear safety goggles and completely thaw out the turkey before putting it in the fryer. Follow your fryer’s directions and do not overfill it with oil. Go to the hospital immediately for any second- or third-degree burn injuries, or first-degree burns to your face.

Fall Accidents

The winter holiday season is full of opportunities for fall accidents – the most common type of accident to send people to emergency rooms. Every year falls lead to around eight million emergency department visits. Watch out for the most common causes of falls relating to the holidays: putting up holiday lights, falling off ladders, tripping over extension cords and slipping on ice. Falls can cause serious injuries such as bone fractures and traumatic brain injuries. Prevent fall accidents by always using a ladder safely, hiring a professional to put up exterior Christmas lights, keeping cords and obstacles out of walkways, and wearing nonslip shoes.