Avoid These Common Holiday Injuries

The holiday season is in full swing! As families gather to exchange gifts, enjoy delicious meals and take part in holiday traditions, we encourage our clients to be cautious of these common injuries – and take steps to protect yourself and your guests from injuries.

Car crashes – Between traveling to visit family, shorter winter days and reckless or alcohol-influenced drivers, you are simply more at risk on the road during the holiday season. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of 300 people lost their lives in drunk driving crashes between Christmas and New Year’s Day over the past five years. Still more people hurt either by alcohol-impaired drivers or negligent drivers. While statistics vary from year to year as the Christmas holiday falls on different days of the week each year, what IS clear is that a significant portion of injury crashes during the holiday season will involve alcohol. The National Safety Council estimates that as many as 13,100 people will be hurt (non-fatal but medically-consulted) or injured in car crashes this Christmas Day.

Fires and Electrical Injuries – Christmas lights are enjoyable to look at, but they are also a common cause of minor electrical injuries. Christmas trees are beautiful but also present an additional fire hazard within the home. Between 2013 and 2017, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 160 home fires caused by Christmas trees each year, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Electrical lighting equipment was to blame in approximately 44 percent of home Christmas tree fires, according to the NFPA. To enjoy your lights and tree safely, the U.S. Fire Administration recommends checking your light strands each year for frayed wires and linking no more than three strands of lights together at one time. Be sure to water your fresh tree regularly. If using an artificial tree, ensure that the materials used are flame resistant.

Avoid slips, trips and falls – Shorter winter days mean less visibility of common hazards. During the holiday season, be aware of additional hazards that may arise. Make sure to tape down or secure electrical cords in walkways. Remove or secure any tripping hazards within your home, especially if you will have visitors and wish to avoid liability. If you own a business such as a restaurant, retail store or even an apartment complex, make sure you keep walkways well-lighted and clear to avoid liability. Repair tripping hazards quickly to avoid prolonged hazards.

Kitchen safety – The kitchen is a hotspot during the holiday season. It’s also where most household fires originate and where you have the biggest opportunity to make a food safety mistake and give your guests a lovely case of food poisoning. Check the pressure gauge on your fire extinguisher. If the needle is in the green area, the fire extinguisher is good. If not, it should be replaced. Follow food safety guidelines when prepping your holiday meal. Follow the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recommendations for safe minimum cooking temperatures.

Injuries can happen anywhere and at any time. If you’ve experienced one of these common injuries because of someone else’s negligence, call us to see if you should pursue a case, especially if you require ongoing medical treatment.

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