The winter holidays should be a beautiful, enjoyable time of year with family and friends. Safety plays a big role in making sure no one ends up in the hospital or worse. Here are some safety tips to remember that will ensure “a holiday to remember” for the RIGHT reasons:
The roads are extremely busy during the holidays, with people traveling to see family, or for vacation. In 2015, 386 people died in automobiles on Thanksgiving Day, 273 on Christmas Day, and 355 on New Year’s Day. (National Safety Council)
- Plan ahead. Know where you’re going, and how to get there.
- Use a designated driver after a holiday party.
- Buckle-up for safety, no matter how long the ride.
- Don’t be distracted while driving: Put away the cell phone.
- Keep your vehicle properly maintained, including a first aid kit.
- Be prepared for heavy traffic, and possible snow.
Emergency rooms see thousands of injuries involving decorating every holiday season. The National Fire Protection Association reports that about 600 fires are caused by Christmas tree lights and decorations each year in the United States:
- Artificial snow spray can irritate your lungs if inhaled. Follow directions carefully.
- Always use a proper step ladder. Do not use chairs or other furniture.
- Make sure light decorations have no exposed or frayed wires. Don’t overload electrical circuits.
- Do not run electrical cords under rugs or carpets.
- Never use indoor lights outside
- Turn off holiday lights when going to bed or leaving the house.
- Keep poisonous plants away from children and animals.
- Keep paths clear of wrapping paper, toys, decorations, etc.
Make sure gifts for children are age-appropriate.
Candles and Fireplaces
There is a higher risk of fires in December, due to an increased use of candles and fireplaces along with combustible, seasonal decorations:
- Do not leave burning candles unattended.
- Keep candles, matches and lighters out of the reach of children and pets.
- Don’t burn candles near flammable items.
- Don’t burn wrapping paper, wreaths or trees in the fireplace.
- Check and clean the fireplace and chimney areas at least once a year.
- Make sure smoke alarms and fire extinguishers are working properly.
7,500 injuries are caused by accidents involving Christmas Trees and decorations every year in the U.S.:
- When using a live tree, select a fresh one that is not dried out. Check branches every day and make sure the stand stays filled with water.
- Place the tree in a secure stand that is made for the weight of the tree.
- Never use a heat source (radiators, fireplaces, candles, lighter, etc.) near the tree.
- Dispose of the tree when it becomes too dry, or when needles start to fall off.
- Make sure artificial trees are made of material that is fire-resistant.
- If you have small children, keep small decorations (that can be swallowed) and breakable decorations out of their reach.
Holiday food safety tips:
- Wash your hands frequently while handling food.
- Thoroughly wash raw foods (fruits and vegetables).
- Use a food thermometer to cook meat to a safe temperature.
- Separate raw and cooked food to avoid cross-contamination.
- Refrigerate perishable leftovers after two hours.
The Law Offices of David L. Hood: Here to Fight for Injury Victims in Georgetown and Horry Counties and Throughout South Carolina
Here at the Law Offices of David L. Hood, we have years of experience representing injured victims in South Carolina, and we offer a free initial consultation so we can listen to your story and provide candid advice about what your legal options are. If you choose to hire us, we also work on a contingent fee basis, which means you don’t pay fees or expenses unless we achieve a settlement or win your case in court.
If you or a loved one has recently been injured through no fault of your own, contact the Law Offices of David L. Hood at (843) 491-6025 or fill out our online contact form and we’ll get in touch to schedule your free consultation. We know accidents can turn a person’s life upside-down, but we’re here to support you and guide you at every step in your journey toward justice and healing.
To find fun Winter Holiday events in South Carolina, for children and adults, click here.
Other online resources used:
Children’s Hospital: http://www.chp.edu/injury-prevention/safety/holiday-and-seasonal/winter-holidays
Central Insurance Companies: https://www.central-insurance.com/docs/tips-holidaysafety.htm