This Year’s Holiday Safety Tips
December 10, 2020
As people across the country are gearing up to ring in the holiday season and to celebrate the new year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is reminding Americans that with the festivities can come unexpected property damages and injuries. Holiday home hazards include cooking fires, fireplaces and woodstoves, unsafe toys, and popular decorations like Christmas trees, menorahs, and lights. Fortunately, in a recent statement, the CPSC gives several useful tips to better keep you and your loved ones safe while enjoying the 2020 holiday season.
No matter what time of year it is, cooking fires are the leading cause of residential fires. At certain times however, like on Christmas Eve Day and Christmas Day, the rate of residential cooking fires spikes. With the majority of restaurants closed for indoor dining and offering only limited outdoor and takeout options, more people are planning on cooking at home this year. Be sure to observe the following fire safety tips in order to reduce your chances of sustaining property damages or injuries:
- Never leave food unattended on the stove top
- Keep flammable items (like loose clothing, curtains, paper or plastic bags, etc.) away from the stove and oven
- Keep children away from all cooking areas
Be sure that you and your family have a well-established fire escape plan that you practice together regularly. Remember: if a fire does start in your house, exit the property as quickly as you can and call 9-1-1 for help.
The Dangers of Unsafe Toys
Every year, kids and teens write their holiday gift wish lists and look forward to opening their presents – but unsafe toys cause major injuries. Although toy manufacturers are legally obligated to produce safe products, emergency hospitals treat more than 215,000 children for serious, toy-related injuries every year. In 2018, the CPSC found that 17 children died from their injuries. Even safe toys can be dangerous if they are used improperly or by children younger than the manufacturer recommends. To limit preventable injuries, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s age requirements. and to refer to user manuals as well as safety packaging.
Here are just a few more of the CPSC’s tips for choosing – and safely using – safe toys:
- Keep small balls and toys with small parts away from children under the age of 3-years-old
- Pick toys based on your child’s current abilities
- Keep broken and/or deflated balloons away from children under the age of 8
- Purchase all recommended safety gear for toys, like helmets for riding bicycles, scooters, and other riding toys
People who love decorating say it allows them to really get into the holiday spirit – but decorations come with plenty of unexpected hazards. In fact, the CPSC says that during the holiday season approximately 200 decorating-related injuries happen each day. Some of the most common decoration-related injuries that people sustain are falls, lacerations (from cutting or trimming a tree or altering household decorations), electrical injuries and burns.
Don’t fret. You can still make your house look full of cheer, but be sure to take the following safety measures:
- If you have a live Christmas tree, be sure to keep it well watered. When a live tree dries out it becomes highly flammable. If you are purchasing or using an artificial tree, make sure it has a “Fire Resistant” label
- Only use lights that a nationally-recognized testing facility has tested for safety
- Before installing holiday lights, inspect them for cracked or broken sockets, loose connections, and frayed, bare, or otherwise damaged wires or plugs. If the lights are damaged in any way, throw them away and purchase new ones
- Blow out lit candles before leaving a room, and place candles in visible locations and away from flammable items like curtains or blinds
No matter how you plan on celebrating the holidays this year, our entire team at Galfand Berger is wishing you and your loved ones a safe, healthy, and joy-filled holiday season and a happy new year!
Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Representing Injured Victims Since 1947
With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, Galfand Berger LLP serves clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.