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Avoiding Common Holiday Accidents and Injuries

older couple cooking Thanksgiving turkey

Where did this year go? 2020 was undoubtedly full of unique challenges amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Many of us were shifted to remote work earlier this year in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The time at home flew by and we’re already getting ready for the upcoming holiday season—crazy, right?

While the holidays are a time to be thankful, relax, and spend time with close friends and family, it’s no time to let your guard down and forget that safety is always the number one priority. However you are spending your holidays this year, make sure you follow some important safety tips!

Falling While Decorating

For many people, decorating the home is an essential part of the holidays. But as innocuous as this activity sounds, holiday decorating is a common cause of fall-related injuries. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimated that there were about 15,000 injuries involving decorating for holidays between November and December of 2012.

Many of these injuries are the result of falls from:

  • Ladders
  • Roofs
  • Furniture (chairs, stools, tables, etc.)
  • Stairs
  • Porches
  • Slipping and tripping on holiday decorations

By far the most number of falls occur from the first item mentioned on the list above: ladders (or a substitute for them). If you or your family will be decorating the home using one of these tools, always make sure to:

  • Ensure that you use a ladder on a flat surface level
  • For every four feet of height, space the ladder one foot away from the wall
  • Maintain three points of contact at all times
  • Keep your body in the middle of the step
  • Always face the ladder when climbing

Holiday Fires and Burns

During the holidays, there is an increased risk of home fires caused by burning candles, dehydrated Christmas trees, artificial and flammable Christmas trees, and electrical sparks. A 2017 safety alert from the CPSC estimated that about 100 fires are started due to Christmas trees each year; another 1,200 are caused by lighted candles.

To reduce the risk of an unintentional house fire and potential burns, plan ahead and take the following steps

  • Check tree lights for broken wires or cracked sockets
  • Check live trees for freshness; the needles should be green and the bottom should be sticky with resin
  • When setting up a tree, place it away from heat sources such as fireplaces, vents, HVAC units, and radiators
  • Check extension cords and do not use cut cords with signs of fraying
  • Put lit candles on a stable, heat-resistant surface away from where children or pets could easily knock them down

Before the holiday season is in full swing, we hope you stay informed about common injuries that occur during this time so you can take the necessary precautions to prevent them.

As always, if accidents do happen despite you taking all the right steps, the Law Offices of Larry S. Buckley is here to review your accident case to determine if you have grounds for pursuing a personal injury claim.

Contact our Northern California personal injury attorneys at (530) 413-0245 to speak with our legal team for free today.

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