6 Tips To Avoid Holiday Hazards

There’s nothing like the holiday season — Christmas carols, twinkling lights, and festive decorations all around. With all this cheer, injuries that occur can be devastating, putting a serious damper on all merrymaking activities. Before putting up decorations or inviting guests over for a family dinner, consider these six tips from the Law Offices of Michael B. Brehne, P.A., personal injury attorneys in Orlando, FL, to avoid unnecessary injuries this holiday season.

Safely Burn Candles

Candles are a simple, yet elegant decoration for the home during the holidays — plus they add a wonderful scent to any room. However, they can also be somewhat dangerous. Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets so they can’t knock them over or burn themselves and always stay in the room while wax candles burn. Another approach is to replace the wax candles with battery-powered, flameless candles; they give off the same light and there are even scented options that provide that perfect pine smell.

Ditch Dangerous Decorating 

It's a holiday tradition to want the biggest and brightest decorations for the home during festivities. Indoors and out, a slip and fall accident is just waiting to happen if the proper safety precautions aren’t followed while decorating. When hanging twinkle lights, make sure to place the ladder on secure ground to keep it from wobbling. A good rule to follow is the ladder should be a foot away from the wall supporting it for every 4 feet in ladder height. Most important is to have a person hold the bottom of the ladder for added stability — having someone spot you makes all the difference.

Open Gifts Carefully

Silly as it may sound, the best part of the holidays can also be one of the most hazardous. Before slicing into your gifts, make sure to hold a sharp pair of scissors the right way and point them away from the body while cutting open a difficult gift. If the packaging is particularly persistent, carefully tear at the edges and tape to avoid a nasty paper cut. After all the presents are open, be sure to throw away or recycle the wrapping paper, ribbon, and tape to prevent trips and falls. 

Put Away Poisonous Plants 

Kissing under the mistletoe is a holiday staple — just make sure the plant is out of reach for kids and pets. Both mistletoe and holly are much more toxic than poinsettias, which only cause slight discomfort and indigestion if eaten. If either a child or pet consumes mistletoe or holly, it can result in a serious situation that requires a call to poison control. To prevent this, keep harmful plants on a shelf or countertop where kids and pets can’t reach.

Keep An Eye On Food & Drinks

During the hustle and bustle of the festivities, forgotten food and wine can present a risk for pets. A significant portion of ingredients, such as grapes, garlic, raisins, chocolate, and onions, in holiday dishes can cause distress in cats and dogs. Curious children may pick up unattended alcoholic beverages. To keep unsuitable drinks out of their little hands, promptly dump out unfinished drinks and keep freshly made beverages out of reach.

Avoid Christmas Tree Fires

Fresh pine trees can make a home smell warm and inviting during the holidays — but don’t let it go up in flames! When choosing a Christmas tree, be sure to pick a fresh one and water it daily to prevent it from drying out. On the tree itself, use flame-retardant lights and inspect all electrical cords and outlets to ensure there are no loose wires or potential fire hazards. 

For more tips to avoid holiday hazards or to discuss your personal injury claim, contact us today!