Common Holiday Accidents and How to Best Prevent Them from Happening
The holiday season is a time for giving and celebration. It’s also one of the busiest times of the year. Not only do people have to continue with their normal daily routine, but added on top of this is holiday decorating, shopping, and holiday parties. Unfortunately, the hectic nature of the holiday season also makes it one of the most dangerous times of the year for accidents and injuries. Below are some of the most common holiday accidents that occur during the holiday season, and how best to prevent them from occurring.
Fall Down Accidents
Each year one million Americans suffer slip or trip and fall-related accidents and injuries. As slip or trip and fall accidents occur most frequently in retail businesses, there is usually a sharp increase in these types of accidents during the holiday season, given the increase in shoppers during this time of year.
Although accidents can occur no matter how careful you are, the best way to prevent a slip or trip and fall accident while shopping is to simply slow down and keep a close look-out of your surroundings while shopping. Rather than racing through a store looking solely at merchandise on the shelves, it’s important that you remember that with the increase in the number of people of shopping at the same time, there is a greater likelihood that you may encounter a hazard on the floor, whether it be a spilled liquid or a toy or other merchandise that may have fallen. If you do encounter such a hazard, alert an employee so it cleaned up to prevent the next shopper from encountering it as well.
Ladder Related Accidents
In addition to slip or trip and fall accidents, another type of accident that occurs more frequently during the holiday season are fall’s from ladders. During the 2016-2017 holiday season, 11,700 people visited a doctor for injuries after falling off a ladder, most of which likely occurred while decorating.
The best way to prevent a ladder-related accident is to follow these simple safety guidelines:
Maintain three points of contact with the ladder at all times.
Never stand on either of the top two rungs of a stepladder.
Never step on any of the top four rungs of an extension ladder.
Have a partner hold and steady a ladder as you use the ladder to climb up and down.
When setting up a ladder outside, make sure that it is set up on the solid ground to avoid slippage or collapse.
Fire Related Accidents
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 30% of all house fires and 38% of all house fire deaths occur in December, January, and February. A common cause of many of these fires are Christmas trees and holiday decorations, which result in twice the burn injuries and five times the amount of deaths as other house fires. Other causes include cooking and the improper use of heating appliances.
The NFPA offers several fire safety tips to help keep you safe during the holiday season. They include:
Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
Connect no more than 3 strands of mini-light sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs.
Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Check the packaging; some lights are only for indoor use.
Do not block exits with trees or decorations.
Get rid of your tree right after Christmas – or when it’s dry – look for community recycling programs for the disposal of your tree.
Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.
Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.
Keep candles at least 12-inches from ANYTHING that burns.
Make sure your tree is at least 3-feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, candles, and heat vents.
When choosing a real tree, make sure the needles are fresh and green and do not fall off when touched. Before placing it in the stand, cut 2” from the base of the tree.
Water real trees daily. To find out why, check out this video comparing the flammability of a dry Christmas tree versus one that is watered daily.
Make sure if you have an artificial tree, it’s labeled, certified, or identified by the manufacturer as fire-retardant.
Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
Trust SouthShore Injury Attorneys With Your Florida Accident Claim
If you’ve been injured in an accident this holiday season, it is important that you consult with a qualified personal injury attorney. The attorneys at SouthShore Injury Attorneys handle only personal injury claims and are experienced in representing personal injury cases throughout the State of Florida. Contact SouthShore Injury Attorneys at (813) 419-3866 for a free consultation.
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