Common Holiday Accidents and How to Avoid Them


CPSC: Holiday Decorating Injuries Send Thousands to Emergency Room Every Year

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were over 14,500 holiday decorating injuries that required a trip to the hospital during the December 2014 holiday season, and at least 12 deaths. The CPSC has issued a safety warning containing important advice on how you and your family can stay injury-free this holiday season.

  • Lacerations were the top reported decorated-related injuries in 2014. The CPSC urges special care to be taken with sharp, weighted, or breakable decorations.
  • Avoid trimmings that resemble food or candy that may tempt a child to swallow them.
  • Place decorations with small removable parts that can pose a choking hazard to young children out of reach.
  • Purchase only holiday light sets that bear the marking of a safety testing laboratory. Fires sparked by holiday lights caused 10 deaths in 2014.
  • Examine new and old light sets for damage. Discard sets with cracked or broken sockets, frayed or exposed wires, and loose connections.
  • Keep burning candles in sight and away from places where kids and pets can knock them over. Between 2010 and 2012, candles were the source of an estimated 6,500 residential fires annually, causing 80 deaths, 650 injuries, and $237 million in property loss per year.
  • Place lighted candles away from items that can catch fire, such as trees, other evergreens, decorations, curtains and furniture.
  • Look for a label that reads “fire resistant” when purchasing an artificial tree and check live trees for freshness. From 2010 to 2012, there were an estimated annual average of 200 fires where the Christmas tree was the first item ignited, causing 10 deaths, 20 injuries, and $17 million in property loss each year.
  • Place live Christmas trees away from heat sources, and keep trees sufficiently watered.
  • Use caution on ladders. Thirty-six percent of holiday decorating injuries involve falls and falls from ladders account for about half of these accidents.

The CPSC states that there is an average of about 240 injuries per day during the holiday season. The CPSC and Attorney Group encourages you and your family to celebrate safely this holiday season.

With the holiday season upon us, many people are ready to jump in headfirst and fail to think about the most common holiday accidents that can occur. However, accidents can happen during family gatherings and festivities. Did you know that over 200 people are admitted to hospitals after failing to remove pins from new shirts? Or that over the last decade, 27 people have died while testing batteries on their tongues?

Even the most common holiday accidents, while funny at first, can be serious and sometimes deadly if not properly handled. If you or someone you love has been injured due to someone else’s negligence, consider seeking legal counsel to learn more about your rights.

Most Common Holiday Accidents and What You Can Do

If you have a Clark Griswold in your family that blacks out the entire neighborhood due to overwhelming electricity powering his Christmas lights, keep in mind that over 400 Americans die due to holiday-related fires each year, and 1,000 individuals are hospitalized with injuries. By the same token, improperly frying a turkey can lead to serious fires and devastating consequences. Statistics show that the majority of the 125,000 fires that occur in December are related to cooking.

To reduce the risk of fire, turn off your Christmas lights when you go out. While you may be competing with neighbors with your elaborate display of blinking Christmas beacons, hitting the “off” switch will save you money on utilities and prevent fires from occurring. Additionally, inspect your lights for loose connections and frayed wires and avoid using indoor extension cords for outdoor spectacles. When cooking, make sure your space is well-ventilated and you are following the appliance’s instructions.

Falls, trips and spills can result in head injuries, broken bones and paralysis. Of the 10,000 people that visit a hospital each year for a decorating-related injury, 43 percent of individuals have reportedly been hurt while falling off of a ladder. If you are using a ladder for holiday decorating, do not lean too far to the side and keep your body centered between the rails of the ladder at all times. Stay three rungs below the top of the ladder and ensure the ladder is positioned on a flat, stable surface.

If you will be enjoying alcoholic beverages at your festivities, consider setting aside a jar where family members can house their keys to reduce the likelihood of intoxicated guests getting behind the wheel. Or, if you have relatives visiting from out of town, offer to house them for the night or provide transportation back to their hotel.

Another incident every person should be aware of is the increase in drunk driving around the holidays. The US Department of Transportation reported that from 2001 to 2005, an average of 45 people died each day in an alcohol-related death during the holiday season. Mothers Against Drunk Driving reported that alcohol is the reason for about 52 percent of fatal collisions on Christmas and 57 percent on New Years.  Drunk driving is still a very serious issue today, and Attorney Group wants every consumer to be aware of the risks. Be careful when traveling by car during the holiday season, and also make sure that you and your loved ones are being responsible when drinking this holiday season. If you are involved in an accident with a drunk driver, do not hesitate to contact Attorney Group to find out what your next legal step should be.

What Happens After Common Holiday Accidents?

Unfortunately, even the most common holiday accidents can turn deadly in a matter of moments. The fire that your neighbor started while cooking the turkey can burn down your home, or the slip that Grandma took on the kitchen floor at her friend’s house can leave her paralyzed for the rest of her life. How do you handle these situations? Insurance will often cover them, but many people do not realize that seeking legal counsel after a serious incident could help them get the appropriate amount needed to be restored to where they were before the incident. Whether the incident was an accident at your house or elsewhere; whether it was your fault, someone else’s fault, or purely an accident, it is important to understand your options both legally and with your insurance.

Every scenario is different. Depending on your home or property insurance, your provider may pay for medical expenses and other damages resulting from the injury or fire. Legal counsel is often advisable in these situations, whether you have been injured or you have been accused of being negligent in your actions.

Have Questions Regarding the Most Common Holiday Accidents?

If you have been injured or you have questions regarding accidents of any kind or how to protect yourself against the most common holiday accidents, contact Attorney Group. We will address your questions and concerns at no cost and no obligation to you. Should we find that you have a legitimate claim, we will connect you with an experienced attorney who will handle your case. If you have questions regarding an insurance claim or how to proceed with your insurance after an accident, simply contact us and we will help answer your questions and help you seek the appropriate compensation for your incident if you have a valid claim. Remember, if you or a loved one deal with a serious injury due to an accident this holiday season, contact Attorney Group to get your legal questions answered. Happy holidays!