Wishing You A Joyous Holiday Filled with Fun Activities Through the New Year
Seasons greetings from The Lee Steinberg Law Firm! We hope you are spending the holiday season making wonderful, unforgettable memories. To be able to do this, you and your loved ones will need to stay injury-free by acting safely around the Christmas tree and while you deck your halls, and while you participate in all of the wonderful winter activities Michigan has to offer. If you are headed to a family or holiday gathering, we also want you to be sure to buy age appropriate gifts or ones the entire family can enjoy, and if you are traveling the roads we want you to arrive safely. Here is a more detailed list to help you keep those specific holiday safety tips in mind.
Oh, Christmas Tree!
More than 200 Christmas trees start house fires every year, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), causing $16.2 million in direct property damage. Follow the NFPA’s tips to lessen your home’s fire risk.
- Water your fresh tree daily. Dried-out trees are a fire hazard.
- If you choose an artificial tree, know that the label “flame retardant” does not always mean “fire proof.” If exposed to a heat or fire source, these trees can quickly burn. In fact, artificial trees, particularly pre-lit artificial trees that are lacking a UL Mark, can be a significant contributor for extra fire and electrical hazards.
- Never connect more than three strands of lights together. Never use candles to decorate the tree.
- Use proper indoor lights and discard any with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Look for the holographic UL label on Christmas lights and purchase those.
Reducing Your Risk of Personal Injury
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the average number of visits to doctor’s offices and/or emergency departments each year is 69,000, all directly due to holiday activities based in the home.
- Stairways, driveways, sidewalks, doorways, and home entrances become potentially dangerous places for someone to have a snow or ice-related slip and fall injury. Take the steps to prevent and clear snow filled or icy areas for your family and holiday guests.
- Set up all Christmas decorations at least three feet away from fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents, lamps, garage doors, and walkways.
- Always make sure your electrical cords are not blocking any walkway or exits. This goes for inside and outside of your home, near stairs and doorways, or in the way of common foot traffic.
- Never carry something that obstructs your view or is too heavy to deliver in one load. Take trips instead or simply ask for help.
- If you need to use a ladder, make sure it is in good condition before climbing it and always place it on firm, level ground away from debris. Maintain three points of contact at all times while climbing. Once your task is finished, move the ladder to the next position rather than overreaching.
Smart Gift Giving
Unfortunately, toys can come with design or manufacturing defects or even if deemed safe, they may not be for all ages. A missing label or warning for a toy may be removed and a child is seriously injured. Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind when shopping for toys.
- Consider the child’s age when purchasing a toy or game by reading the instructions and warning labels to make sure it’s appropriate. Watch for small parts or other potential choking hazards for young children.
- It is believed more than half the children in the U.S. own a fidget spinner. In addition to the unsafe lead found in some models, Texas and Oregon children have been taken to hospitals after choking on fidget spinner pieces.
- Toys made of fabric should be labeled as flame resistant or flame retardant and should be washable.
- Painted toys and art materials should be covered with lead-free paint and should say nontoxic.
- Crayons and paints should say ASTM D-4236 on the package, which means that they’ve been evaluated by the American Society for Testing and Materials.
- Watch out for internet-connected toys that may compromise the privacy and security of your home and children. These gadgets can easily be hijacked by low-tech hackers who transmit spoken messages to kids through the toys’ speakers. Toys with digital cameras installed can be even more frightening.
On the Road, Safe and Sound
Fatalities and serious injuries from crashes remain on the rise throughout the busy holiday season. To avoid being involved in one of these wrecks, you should drive slower, remain alert, be extra cautious, and take note from our team of auto accident attorneys with these tips below.
- Keep your vehicle in order and get that tune-up. This includes replacing wiper blades and lights, filling up on antifreeze and window-washer fluid, checking for proper tire inflation, ensuring your battery has sufficient charge, and packing a safety kit prepped for winter travel in your vehicle.
- Holiday season crashes too often occur because the driver is distracted on their phone. While it may only take your eyes off the roadway for a couple of seconds, sending or reading a text at 55 mph, is comparable to driving down the length of a football field blindfolded. Don’t text and drive, ever!
- Avoid drinking and driving. If you are having a holiday party in your home, limit your guests’ drinking. If you are taking a break from your holiday shopping at a restaurant, don’t be tempted to order an alcoholic beverage with your meal. Alcohol is a major contributor to holiday accidents, both in the home and on the roadways. Never let yourself or others drive drunk.
- Buckle up and take the time to make sure your children are fastened correctly in the right child-sized seat.
- If you are headed on a long road trip or will be traveling late at night or in the early morning, beware of driving drowsy. Before the start of a car trip, get a quick nap or a good night’s sleep. Your sleepiness could put others at risk.
- Delay trips when especially bad weather is expected. If you must leave, let others know your route, destination and estimated time of arrival.
Contact Us To Discuss Your Personal Injury Case
From the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, we wish you a safe and joyous holiday season! But if you or a loved one become injured, let us help you today. Please call Lee Free at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) or fill out the Free Case Evaluation Form so we can answer any questions you may have about Michigan personal injury law.
During this holiday season, when you’re driving make sure you’re careful. If you’re going to drink, make sure you have a designated driver or use Uber or Lyft. Make sure you don’t get on the road if you’re drinking. Have a safe and joyous holiday season and Merry Christmas. And from everybody here at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, we wish you a Happy New Year.