According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are roughly 12,000 more emergency room visits during the holiday season; that’s about 250 injuries per day.
Some of the most common types of holiday accidents include falls, lacerations and back injuries. In addition, fires and electric accidents increase during the holiday season.
Below are the top three most common types of holiday accidents and what you can do to minimize the risk of injury.
1. Fire/Electric Accidents
Fires and electric accidents are very common during the holidays. Holiday fire/electric accidents often involve Christmas trees, candles, and holiday lights.
These types of accidents result in literally dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries every year. Here are some tips to avoid holiday fire and electric accidents.
1. Water trees daily and monitor water levels. Dry trees, especially those placed near fireplaces and other sources of heat, can catch fire.
2. Keep candles on a stable, heat-resistant surface and out of reach of pets and children.
3. Be sure to extinguish candles before leaving the home or going to bed.
4. Check lights and extension cords for damaged or exposed wires, plugs, etc.
5. Use GFIs (ground-fault interruptors) with all outdoor lights and electrical decorations. GFIs will shut down the electrical circuit if electricity is leaking from an insulated circuit.
2. Falls from Heights (Ladder Fall Accidents)
Falls from ladders are another common type of accident during the holidays. Ladder fall accidents can happen for any number of reasons, such as failure to set up a ladder properly, poor ladder maintenance, or a defective condition, like a rusted component piece.
The most common causes of ladder fall accidents include:
- using a single rail ladder,
- exceeding the maximum intended load, and
- using a ladder on a slippery or sloped surface.
Before putting up lights around the house and before taking them down, check the condition of the ladder and be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
In addition, ladders and electricity don’t mix. When using a ladder, be aware of overhead power lines and be sure to maintain a safe distance (at least 10 feet) from overhead lines.
3. DUI/Alcohol Related Accidents
Alcohol related accidents don’t necessarily peak during the holiday months. However, the chances of an alcohol related accident certainly increase over the holidays. Holiday parties at the office, a bar/restaurant or a friend’s house often involve alcohol. Drunk driving accidents can occur. To avoid an alcohol accident, drink responsibly and of course, don’t drink and drive.
The holidays should be a safe and happy time for families and friends. A holiday accident can result in a tragedy like a death or at least, serious injuries. Please be safe during this holiday season.
From Laffey, Bucci & Kent, Your Injury-Accident Lawyers
Laffey, Bucci & Kent is a Philadelphia based law firm whose lawyers focus on injury and accident matters. Our firm has offices in 4 states, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Delaware. Please call our firm for more information. 215.399.9255