One of the best gifts that families and friends can give each other this year is a safe holiday season. Whether it be replacing old extension cords, slowing down on icy roads, or reading the safety instructions before putting the turkey into the fryer, celebrating thoughtfully will make the holidays safer for everyone.
When decorating, it is important to check for damaged wires, loose connections, and broken sockets; these should all be replaced. Packages should also have directions that indicate how many lights can be plugged into one socket. Plugs should be kept off the ground, and away from snow and standing water. Indoor lights should not be used outdoors, and all lights should be turned off when leaving the house or going to bed.
Christmas trees can also be hazardous. Live trees should have two inches of their trunks exposed for water absorption, and should be watered daily and removed when dried out. They should be three or more feet away from heat sources, such as fireplaces and radiators. Breakable and smaller ornaments should be placed high where children cannot reach them, and artificial trees should be labeled as fire resistant.
Candles used for decorating are also dangerous if not handled carefully. According to the National Fire Protection Association, the peak days for candle fires are Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Most candle fires occur when they are placed too close to flammable items, such as bedding and curtains.
The National Safety Council discourages the use of turkey fryers in private homes. Ovens and stovetops should be monitored if something is cooking, and fireplaces should never be left unattended. Burning wrapping paper, trees, or wreaths in fireplaces is dangerous and should be avoided.
Modern Safety Recommendations
The prevalence of online shopping means more items being delivered to doorsteps, presenting more opportunity for thieves. When a package is ordered, it is not always possible to be home when it gets delivered. Two options are to request a signature upon receipt or ask a neighbor to hold on to it until you come home. Placing the empty box outside of the home can let others know that something valuable is inside the house, so breaking it down and recycling it is safer. Posting pictures about valuable gifts on social media is also risky, and can be an invitation to have one’s home broken into.
Children’s toys should also be chosen carefully; in 2017, over a quarter million children were seriously hurt in toy-related incidents. Younger children should not be given toys with small parts, since these can be removed and swallowed, and children under age 10 should not have toys that need to be plugged into electrical outlets. Toys have age-rated safety information, so this should be looked at before making a purchase. If the child is old enough for a riding toy, scooter, or bike, it is thoughtful to also include safety gear, such as helmets and knee pads.
Piscataway Personal Injury Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Advocate for Safety During the Holiday Season
If you were injured in an accident during any time of the year, reach out to the Piscataway personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia. For a free case evaluation, call us at 732-249-4600 or complete our online form.