The holidays are a joyous time. The lights are twinkling, Christmas markets provide weekend entertainment, delicious cookie tins fill the grocery stores and there’s always a party going on in the evening.
At the same time, the holidays can be surprisingly dangerous.
Christmas weekend in the United States has 231 fatal car accidents per year and New Year’s weekend has 245. Emergency rooms usually see an uptick of heart attacks and strokes during the holidays, likely because people are travelling and forget to bring their medication, or
As well, around 5,800 accidents happen every year because people fall when putting up Christmas decorations on the exterior of their house. An additional 13,000 people are seen every year for other accidents related to holiday decorations. Christmas trees often catch on fire due to faulty lights and candle decorations. Additionally, about 1,062 injuries are due to space heaters each winter from people just trying to get warm. But the cold can hurt too — hypothermia can occur when temperatures drop below 4 degrees Celsius — and it gets far, far colder than that in Canada.
So how can we protect ourselves from these very preventable accidents during the holidays? Zoocasa came up with three tips to help keep your holiday season joyous — and safe.
Stick to a Consistent Routine
Your routine may feel totally out of whack during the holidays. You may be travelling, heading to events at night and spending your weekends decorating. But with a loss of routine comes a loss of awareness. Before you travel, for example, make sure you’ve packed your medication. And no matter how good that eggnog looks, keep to any restrictions like no mixing alcohol with your pills. Make sure to wash your hands every time you come home and before preparing any food to help prevent the flu from taking hold.
Remember: Lights Cause Sparks
However, some of the most common accidents during the holidays happen because electrical lights can spark and cause a fire. Before you put up any electrical holiday decorations like lights make sure your house can handle the extra voltage. Make sure no strings on the lights are ripped or torn and no wires are showing through. Consider alternative decorations, like popcorn strings and figurines.
Don’t be a DIY-er
While it feels good to get on a ladder and put up all your Christmas lights on by yourself remember that this work is dangerous. Falls are serious — they can cause concussion, broken limbs and even death. If you don’t feel up to it or you’re not experienced then there is no shame in hiring someone for the job.
Zoocasa is a full-service brokerage that offers advanced online search tools to empower Canadians with the data and expertise they need to make more successful real estate decisions. View real estate listings at zoocasa.com or download our free iOS app