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Holiday Safety: How To Avoid Accidents This Holiday Season

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The holidays are supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s hard to enjoy the season if you are unexpectedly injured. Unfortunately, there are a number of ways that people injure themselves over the holidays. To prevent an accident from disrupting your holiday celebrations, follow these safety tips:

Picking the Right Tree and the Right Place

There’s nothing that says the holidays are here quite like a Christmas tree, but it’s important to take your time when choosing the right tree for your home. Look for a tree that has fresh, green needles that do not become loose or fall to the ground when touched. If the needles start to fall or if they appear to be turning brown, this indicates the tree is dry, which means it is a fire hazard.

Now, find the right place to put the tree inside your home. A Christmas tree—even if it’s not dry—should never be kept near any source of heat. Therefore, make sure the location that you choose is at least two to three feet away from candles, fireplaces, lights, and heat vents. By picking the right tree and the right place for it, you can prevent dangerous fires that could serious injure you and your loved ones.

Inspect Holiday Lights Closely

Many people hang decorative lights inside and outside of their home to celebrate the holiday season. If you plan on using these lights, make sure that you inspect them closely prior to putting them up around your house. First, look for a label that states the lights have been independently tested at a third party facility, which indicates that the lights are safe to use. Then, unwrap the lights and carefully look for frayed wires or broken lights. If a strand of lights has either frayed wires or broken lights, it shouldn’t be used.

Decorate in Pairs

If you’re responsible for decorating the house, find someone who is willing to help you. No one should ever climb a ladder and hang holiday lights without someone else there to help. Have your partner hold the ladder steady and then hand you the lights once you are safely at the top. Be sure that the ladder is an appropriate height, too. If you have to stand on the top rung of the ladder to reach the edge of the roof, the ladder is not tall enough.

Stay Alert on the Roads

If you plan on traveling by car to see friends or family members, make sure that you stay alert while behind the wheel. There are more drivers on the road during this time of year, and many of them are probably from out-of-town, which means they aren’t familiar with the area. There are also more drunk drivers on the road over the holidays, which makes driving even more dangerous than usual. Do your best to avoid getting into an accident by staying alert and monitoring the drivers around you at all times. Don’t ever make assumptions about what other drivers are about to do, and be sure to use your signals at all times so other drivers know exactly what you plan on doing.

The weather can also make the roads more dangerous during this time of year. If you have plans, check the forecast before you hit the road to see if it’s safe to drive. If you don’t feel comfortable driving or want to wait until the bad weather passes, don’t feel guilty about having to cancel on someone or arrive late to a party. Your safety is far more important than making a timely appearance at a holiday party, so your loved one will understand.

Light Candles With Caution

Lighting candles can set the mood for your holiday gathering, but use caution when choosing where to place these candles. Make sure that the candles are placed high enough so that they are out of the reach of children. If you place the candles on top of a tablecloth, make sure the tablecloth does not hang to the floor. If it does, children can pull down on the tablecloth and cause the candle to come crashing down on top of them. The candles should also be placed on a stable surface so they don’t fall on their own and light something on fire. If you leave the room, even if you think that you will be back shortly, blow the candle out just to be safe. You may end up getting distracted and forgetting about the candle, so don’t ever leave it burning while you’re not in the room.

Don’t Decorate With Harmful Plants

Some people choose to add place popular holiday plants throughout their home to make it seem even more festive. But, it’s important to know that some holiday plants are actually harmful to both children and pets. Some of the most harmful plants include poinsettias, holly berries, and mistletoe berries. Children or pets could experience skin irritation, nausea, and vomiting if they come into contact with these plants, so it’s best to leave them out of the house. If someone brings one of these plants to your home as a gift, it’s important to keep the plant out of the reach of children and pets until the party is over, when you can dispose of it properly.

Don’t let an accident ruin the joy of the holiday season. If you are injured over the holidays, contact Trial Lawyers for Justice today to schedule a consultation regarding your case. Our skilled personal injury attorneys will get to work on your case right away so you can focus solely on recovering from your injuries and enjoying the rest of the holiday season.

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Trial by Human

Nick Rowley founded Trial by Human, a nationwide legal education course to help trial lawyers improve their skills in the courtroom by "being human".