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How to Avoid These Common Holiday Hazards

How to Avoid These Common Holiday Hazards
Klein Frank, P.C.

Every year, millions of Americans celebrate the holiday season with festive decorations and large feasts for the family. Before you get into the full swing of the season, please remember that certain seasonal injuries are a common occurrence during this time of year.

We know that the holidays are an extremely busy time, so here are a few ways that you can make them less stressful by following important holiday safety tips.

Cooking Fires and Burns

After Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day see the highest number of home cooking fires. During this time of year, it’s easier to get distracted by everything that’s going on outside of the kitchen. Additionally, holiday decorations are involved in nearly one in five kitchen fires, which can happen when decorations are too close to stovetops and other cooking equipment.

By following these safe cooking techniques, you can greatly reduce the risk of fires at your residence this holiday season:

  • Tie long hair back and roll sleeves up when cooking
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby
  • Check all fire alarm batteries to ensure they are working properly
  • Clean up excess grease off the stovetop
  • Never leave the kitchen when you are frying something on the stove
  • Feet decorations away from all cooking equipment

Falling While Decorating

Although fall-related injuries occur year-round, numbers increase during the holiday season when individuals are adding lights and other decorations throughout their homes and decorating Christmas trees.

One study by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) found that there were more than 5,800 fall injuries per holiday season (November 1 through January 31) over a three-year period. Approximately 43% of those falls were from ladders; 47% of those who fell from ladders were hospitalized for their injuries.

Here are a few ladder safety tips to prevent falls while you are putting up or taking down decorations during this time of year:

  • Choose the right ladder for your weight and the height needed to get to
  • Use a sturdy ladder that is in good working condition
  • Only use ladders when the weather is right outside
  • Keep three points of contact on the ladder at all times
  • Always place the ladder on secure and even ground

Christmas Tree Fires

While nothing beats gazing at a brightly-covered, star-topped Christmas tree, fires that start from indoor Christmas trees can be devastating. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported that U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 200 home structure fires that began from Christmas trees between 2011 and 2015, which resulted in an average of six fatalities, 16 injuries, and $14.8 million in property damage per year.

While holiday decoration and Christmas tree fires may not be as common as other types, they are substantially more damaging when they do occur. In fact, statistics show that Christmas tree and holiday decorations fires result in about twice as many injuries and five times more fatalities than the average winter holiday fires (candle, cooking, and heating fires).

Fortunately, there are many things to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your home from a holiday or Christmas tree fire this season:

  • If you get a live tree, make sure it has fresh, green bristles
  • Cut 1-2 inches off the base of the trunk and keep the tree watered daily
  • Do not overload an extension cord with too many things plugged in
  • Keep your tree at least three feet away from any heat source
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving your home or going to bed

If you or a loved one is injured this holiday season, you may be entitled to pursue compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Get over 60 years of legal experience on your side today by calling Klein Frank at (303) 622-3876 to schedule your free, personalized consultation with our legal team.

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