Whether you are traveling or staying on the Suncoast, it is important to stay safe during the holidays. During the holiday season, many hazards arise from automobile accidents, holiday meal preparation and home decorating. Keep these important tips in mind to stay safe during the holidays. Many holiday accidents are preventable, and safety should be the first consideration to ensure that your holiday season is free from injury and safe for everyone. 

Drive Safely

Traveling is a major part of the holiday season. Often, families drive to see their loved ones during the holidays so these times tend to be among the busiest on the road. In addition to always wearing your seatbelt and remaining alert while on the road, be mindful of the following: 

  • If you are driving out of the State of Florida, make sure that your car is equipped to handle snow or sleet. It is important to winter-proof your car before heading to a colder climate. 
  • Additionally, an overall check of your vehicle is important to make sure that your vehicle is in proper working order. Make sure that your tires have tread and that your brakes are functioning properly.
  • Be alert for distracted pedestrians, especially in parking lots of shopping centers which tend to be busier during the holidays.
  • If you are driving to a holiday party where alcohol is being served, always make sure to have a designated driver. 

Practice Safe Cooking

The preparation of holiday meals can result in many holiday accidents occurring in the kitchen. Keep yourself and your family safe when cooking during the holidays with these helpful tips: 

  • Test your smoke alarms before beginning to cook holiday meals. 
  • Remain in the kitchen while any meals are being prepared on the stovetop. 
  • Keep children and animals away from hot surfaces. 
  • If using a turkey fryer, keep the equipment at least 10 feet from your home and on flat ground. Make sure that the turkey is thawed and dried before cooking. 
  • Always make sure that you have a fire extinguisher available in the event of an emergency.

Decorate Safely 

It is important to think about safety when you begin decorating your home for the holidays. To prevent personal injuries this holiday season, consider the following tips: 

  • Always use the proper equipment, such as a step stool or ladder, when decorating high places. Never use chairs or other furniture, which can be unsteady and lead to injuries.
  • When using a ladder, always face the ladder and never attempt to move the ladder while you are standing on it. 
  • Avoid placing decorations in high traffic areas to avoid slips, trips, and falls. 
  • Always blow out candles before leaving the room. 
  • Check your holiday lights for loose connections or frays, which could pose a fire hazard.
  • If you purchase a live Christmas tree, make sure that it is properly watered to avoid it from drying up and becoming a fire hazard.
  • When decorating, keep children away from fragile glass ornaments or anything that could break and cause injury. 

Wittmer|Linehan is committed to safety in our community and wants you and your family to have a healthy and happy holiday season. If an accident does occur, we are here to help. Each year, our attorneys help hundreds of clients and their families who are injured as a result of an accident. Contact us at (941) 365-2296 to find out how we can help you.