Mix large family gatherings with preparation fatigue and alcohol, and you’ve got a potent cocktail for holiday disaster.
According to estimates by various safety organizations in the country, tens of thousands of people a year are treated for injuries during the festive period. But you or your loved ones don’t have to be one of them. With a little bit of care and forward planning, you can prevent an accident from taking the holly and jolly out of your Christmas.
#1: Avoid Kitchen Catastrophes
Whether you’re cooking for four or fourteen, it’s important to be mindful of the various hazards that can pop up in the kitchen. Don’t let other people, especially children, crowd the kitchen. Also, try to cook sober (you’re working with sharp knives and stove fires after all), and be prompt with wiping up spills to prevent slip and fall accidents.
#2: Clear the Stairs
Clean up the clutter and turn up the lights. Your guests, at least the ones who get ruddy-faced with “holiday cheer” (in liquid form), will need all the help they can get climbing the stairs.
#3: Don’t Rush with Presents
On Christmas Day, take care not to stab or cut yourself while assembling a toy or unwrapping a gift. Also, tell children to walk, not run, to their presents. Their excitement is understandable, but you don’t want them tripping over toys or electric cables. Basically, everyone should take time to enjoy the moment. After all, Christmas comes around only once a year.
#4: Beware of Your Christmas Tree
Only Santa knows how many people have gotten injured while fixing stars, lights or other decorations to the higher branches of their Christmas tree. For Rudolph’s sake, use a step ladder and avoid over-reaching. Also, buy a tree that fits so you don’t have to saw the top off and risk cutting yourself.
#5: Even Fairy Lights Can Hurt
Every year, hundreds of people are hurt by fairy lights. Injuries include children ingesting the bulbs and people getting shocked and burned by faulty lights. If you have used the same old lights for who knows how many years, buy new ones that meet higher safety standards. Also, don’t overload sockets, as that’s a fire risk.
#6: Mind the Candles
Here’s a morbid, if not ironic, fact: people are 50 percent more likely to die in a house fire over Christmas than at any other time of the year. DO NOT, under any circumstances, leave candles on or near your very flammable Christmas tree. Also, use candles that are partially enclosed in safe and secure materials, and never leave an open flame unattended.
#7: Please Don’t Drink and Drive
Even if you only have “just one or two eggnog cocktails,” have a sober driver take you home or ask the host if you can crash at their place. Don’t risk ruining Christmas forever for another family by driving drunk Even the Grinch has better standards.
Wilshire Law Firm wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday weekend!