December is a month filled with festivities, including family gatherings, holiday parties and more. In and around all that decking the halls and fa la la lurk dangers that, all too often, result in catastrophic injuries for those hurt in accidents.
Fire is a major problem during the holiday season and according to the US Fire Administration, the number of residential fires are “more frequent, more costly and more deadly” than any other time of the year. Further, the USFA says more than double the number of “open-flame fires” are reported on Dec. 25 than other days of the year. Fires are attributed to fireplaces, candles and faulty wiring around dry Christmas trees. Some things to remember:
- Kids and Fire Don’t Mix: Children should be kept away from flames all year long, of course. However, when there is so much going on during the holidays, things like “playing with matches” or “getting overly interested in candles or the fireplace” can go unnoticed until it’s too late.
- The Tree: Keep it watered and place it away from open flames. This means, in addition to setting the tree up away from the fireplace, make sure there are no candles set anywhere near the tree.
All of that being said, fire is far from the only danger families need to guard against.
Falls: US statistics reveal that close to 6,000 people go to the hospital emergency room for treatment for injuries sustained in falls involving holiday decorations. Another 4,000 individuals are treated for extension cord injuries including broken bones, sprains and cuts — all because cords aren’t properly placed resulting in tripping hazards.
Poisonings: This is a problem all year long, especially when there are children in the house. At holiday time, however, risk of poisoning accidents increase. In fact, the CPSC (US Consumer Product Safety Commission) points to carbon monoxide as a major cause of poisonings during the cold winter months.
Decorative Lights: Chances are, when you took your lights and decorations down last year, you didn’t inspect carefully for broken or cracked wires or bulbs. Throw out anything that shows signs of considerable wear. Further, use common sense when connecting strings of lights together. “Stacking the plugs is much safer when you’re using a large quantity of lights,” explains Brian L. Vogt, director of education for holiday lighting firm Christmas Décor. If circuits are tripping frequently, that’s a sign of a problem; replace them.
If you or anyone you love gets injured in an accident during the holidays or any other time of the year, you may be entitled to file a legal action for compensation to cover medical bills and more. Contact Lombardi and Lombardi today for a free consultation about your case.