Christmas is an exciting and magical time of year, but it can also be stressful and, in some cases, dangerous. It’s important aware of the most common festive hazards to prevent accidents in the home at Christmas.
Getting into the Christmas spirit can often mean dashing about getting everything in order, cooking up a storm or drinking more than we would ordinarily.
Putting up fairy lights, assembling new toys and gifts or attempting to set fire to a Christmas pudding are just some common yuletide activities that can end in injury.
Unfortunately, more than 6,000 people will end up in hospital on Christmas Day and over the festive period, more than 80,000 visit A&E each year.
According to the Home Accident Surveillance System 2002, there were 1000 Accident and Emergency visits relating to Christmas Trees and another 350 people who were injured because of Christmas tree lights.
Below are a few tips to help keep you and your family safe from accidents in the home at Christmas:
Christmas can create clutter. Make sure boxes and wrapping paper are tidied away as soon as possible to prevent tripping and falling accidents.
People are 50% more likely to be in a house fire at Christmas than any other time of year. Ensure Christmas wrapping, trees and cards are clear of candles and fireplaces and heat sources such as light fittings. Keep an eye on candles and never leave them unattended.
Ensure the toys you buy for children comply with the necessary safety standards. It’s also important to be wary of Christmas novelty items, such as festive soft toys or stockings. Unlike toys, these do not have to comply with strict toy safety regulations.
Check the safety of your lights and test them for faults before you hang them. If you haven’t replaced your lights in several years, buy some new ones that will meet much higher safety standards. Keep the lights switched off until you’ve decorated your tree and remember to turn them off when you leave the house or go to bed.
Around 1000 people each year are hurt while decorating their homes. When putting up your decorations or getting them down from the loft make sure you use a stable ladder (not a chair) and have someone else on hand to help you.
If possible, assemble toys safely the night before or make sure you have the correct tools on hand but out of reach of children. Remember to buy batteries for toys that need them so you’re not tempted to borrow batteries from other appliances around the home (like the smoke alarm).
Do not use knives when unwrapping presents or opening boxes, use scissors instead and take your time to avoid accidents.
Make sure all your lights (including candles) are out before you go to bed to reduce the risk of fire.
If you’re responsible for cooking Christmas dinner, avoid alcohol until you’ve finished cooking to reduce the risk of kitchen accidents. After a party, empty any leftover alcohol out of glasses so that it can’t be found by children the next morning. Most importantly, never drink and drive.
For more tips on Christmas safety in the home visit the ROSPA website.
At this time of year, when people are generally a little merrier than usual, accident victims can sometimes be to blame for their own misjudgements. However, there are occasions when incidents in the home at Christmas can be the fault of a third party.
If you need some work done in your home then Christmas can be a good excuse to get those niggling jobs done, particularly if you plan to have visitors. Perhaps you need some faulty electrics replaced or would like some new carpet laid. If you suffer an injury because of bad workmanship then it is possible you can claim personal injury compensation.
Accidents in the home at Christmas can also involve defective goods which have been bought as gifts. There are numerous laws in place to protect consumers who have been injured through the sale of faulty goods. In some cases, it is possible to claim personal injury compensation.
If you’ve been involved in an accident over the festive period, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
If you feel that you have cause to make an accident claim for compensation, please contact our team of Jefferies no win, no fee solicitors, on 0800 342 3206 or fill out our quick online enquiry form. A member of our team will then be in touch to advise you on your prospects of claiming for your injuries following an accident.
Your call will be treated in the strictest of confidence by our team of highly experienced solicitors.