Top 10 Holiday Accidents and How to Prevent them

Top 10 Holiday Accidents and How to Prevent them

  1. Falling off Ladders; 
  2. Auto accidents in the Holiday Frenzy;
  3. Christmas Trees Catching On Fire;
  4. Slip and Falls on Ice;
  5. Fires Outside Lights;
  6. Tripping Over New Toys And Cords. …
  7. Injuries From cutting down Christmas Trees;
  8. Back Injuries from lifting heavy gifts:
  9. Toxic fumes from Burning Wrapping Paper In The Fireplace and Watch Candles;
  10.  Make sure Toys are age Appropriate and Do not cause choking.

The holiday season is here!  Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or all three, the holiday spirit fills the air.  It’s easy to get caught up in the festivities, and while you’re busy decorating the house, safety may be one of the last things on your mind.

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were 15,000 injuries related to holiday decorations in 2012. Mishaps send about 250 people to the ER daily, with falls, cuts and back strains topping the list of injuries. To ensure you have a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season with your friends and family, here are 10 tips to keep in mind as you decorate  your home:

1 Don’t Hang  Lights Alone

According to this personal injury lawyer when installing Christmas lights above your normal reach, make sure you use have an assistant and use the proper step stool or ladder for the job.  Always use a ladder when hanging decorations on the tree, walls or when outside and make sure the ladder is opened properly. Be sure to check stability. Stepladders should be about 3 ft. shorter than the highest point you have to reach to allow for a stable base. Make sure that all of the ladder’s feet are on a solid, level and on a non-slippery surface. On portable ladders, maintain three-point contact by keeping two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand on the ladder at all times. Do not overreach while on the ladder. Climb down and move the ladder when needed because accidents causing injury can occur.   Do not stand, climb, or sit on the stepladder top or pail shelf.

2 Drive carefully while out in the rush and poor weather conditions 

Christmas is the 7th deadliest time of year to drive. During the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, the number of trips people take increases by 23%.  People are generally driving longer and there more people on the roadways during Christmas holidays. At Thanksgiving the average road trip is 214 miles.  However, the average Christmas or New Year’s trip is 275 miles, compared with a national average of 261 miles for long trips during the rest of the year. In addition to taking longer road trips, alcohol use is a significant reason for the increased in hazardous conditions since  car accidents in Las Vegas and Henderson see an increase in fatality rates during holiday periods. (see the National Center for Statistics and Analysis Younger partygoers are particularly at risk: the NHTSA reports that drivers aged 21 to 24 have the highest level of involvement in alcohol-impaired driving over the holidays.


It’s always important to keep foods at safe temperatures, which is between 4°C (40°F) and 60°C (140°F). Keep hot foods hot, at least 60°C (140°F) and keep cold foods cold at 4°C (40°F) or lower. Do not leave hot or cold foods at room temperature for more than 2 hours to avoid bacteria. I like to have a lot of chips, cookies, nuts, and popcorn out at the holidays to keep the party festive without have food spoil.  


Although Las Vegas and Henderson accidents from slipping on snow and ice are not a frequent as in other parts of the country, Las Vegas and Henderson slip fall accidents likely increase as our residents are traveling to cold weather destinations and may be unprepared for the conditions. Be sure to wear boots or slip-resistant shoes. When you are in icy areas, w walk slowly and watch the placement under  your feet. Watch out for black ice which forms when wet slowly an carefully because black ice may look like  just a wet surface, but in reality is solid ice and very slick. Use your arms to keep yourself stable and balanced when walking on ice and don’t carry a lot of objects with you.  Use a backpack if you carry things. Also, always be aware of where you park and be cautious getting out of your car as you may be parked on of a patch of ice. Always use handrails whenever possible and watch the floors as you enter a building as water from melting ice tends to accumulate at doorways.  Finally, always clean your feet on rugs or mats as the first few steps inside a building are the most hazardous.

5  Fires Outside Lights

Use mini or LED lights as they have cool-burning lights (and LED lights save electricity). Make sure all of the sockets contain a light bulb.  Never remove the ground pin, or file the wide peg of plug as this interferes with the electrical grounding. Never put extension cords through doorways or under carpets and do not overload electrical outlets.


Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions as to how many sets of lights that can be strung (plugged in) together.  In addition, make sure your lights and extension cords are in good condition. Check them for bare places, frayed wires, and gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets/plugs, excessive folds or wear. Also, after they are put up, check the cords to see if they feel warm when they have been on for a while. If you find any of these signs, replace them immediately.  Finally, always use the proper equipment for the job. Use indoor lights and extension cords indoors, and outdoor lights and cords outdoors. 

7 Injuries From cutting down Christmas Trees

Before you go out to cut down your own tree, you will need a permit.  The U.S. Forest Service District Ranger stations issue permits to cut down your Christmas Tree. The cost is $10 and along with that, you’ll get some maps, a brochure, and a sticker. The U.S. Forest Service sells about 10,000 tree cutting permits every year.  At the offices of, we urge you to use caution and follow basic safety steps when cutting down your own tree. Do not cut down trees in bad weather and be sure to have the correct equipment. For more tips, visit the OSHA safety site at

8 Back Injuries from lifting heavy gifts

Here are a few simple ways that you can stop back pain from ruining your Christmas.  Avoid bending and lifting awkwardly. This is one of the most common causes of back pain.  Be sure to lift using your legs and your core and for really heavy objects, use two people. This can include lifting things as simple as your Christmas turkey which can weigh over 30 pounds.   Although it is no reasonable or pleasurable to avoid all the Christmas goodies, excessive alcohol consumption is often to blame for many back pain complaints over the Christmas Holiday. Even if you don’t drink to intoxication, drinking for several days can lead to muscle inflammation, dehydration and fatigue.  In addition to alcohol, excessive sugar, caffeine and stress can have a negative effect on your back. Sugar stimulates your adrenal glands and this combined with alcohol, caffeine and stress can over-load your adrenal glands, which can lead to adrenal fatigue. Your adrenal glands produce anti-inflammatory corticosteroids and without these chemicals, any back injury is likely to feel more painful.

9 Toxic fumes from Burning Wrapping Paper In The Fireplace and     

    Fires from Candles

Paper can catch fire very quickly and can cause flash fires.   There are some things you should not burn in a home fire place, according to experts. They include treated lumber (chemicals and harmful fumes),  aerosol cans and Christmas wrapping paper.  This a common practice and I, myself, have been guilty of burning Christmas paper.

Due to its construction, elements and chemicals, wrapping paper gives off chemicals and odors that can make you sick if you get enough whiffs. 

Read More: Why You Should NEVER Burn Christmas Wrapping Paper in Fireplace |

Only burn candles away from combustible materials (papers, cloth, drapes, curtains, etc.). Try to keep candles one yard away from anything that can burn. Trim candle wicks to about 0.5 cm (0.25 inches) before burning to keep the flame small and prevent uneven burning and dripping. Always use a non-combustible candleholder and never leave a candle unattended. Also, never use them on live or artificial trees.  In addition, never use a candle if oxygen, e.g., for medical purposes, is used in the area. Consider substituting wax candles and liquid fuel lanterns with flameless LED battery-operated candles. Be sure your home is equipped with working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, and a fire extinguisher. Tis the season to check the batteries as well. Turn off all lights on the tree when you go to bed and before leaving the house to avoid a short that could start an electrical fire.


Before buying toys for children or when donating them to a charity, always consider the safety of the toy (e.g., small pieces can be a choking hazard, movement of pieces that may be pinch points, quality of materials, etc.) Also consider the age and ability of the child, or other children who may also play with the toy. Read labels for ages carefully and always inspect the toy for small pieces before giving it to a small child.  Make sure battery closures are secured and there are not parts of the toy that will easily break off. Children are the joy of Christmas and keeping them safe should be the highest priority.

If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury, please don’t hesitate to call the offices of and speak directly to attorney Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years.  Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers. She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve. Please call our office if you or if a loved one is injured. We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence.  

At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to.  Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities. They want to pay as little on every claim as possible.  Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

          At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC at,  we are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur. For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Henderson offices. is a boutique, family owned law firm in Henderson that specializes in helping injured people and the community with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032. 

Happy holidays!