Accidents at home can happen during any time of the year, but during the winter months accidents such as fires or slip and falls are more likely to happen. If you are planning on putting up decorations in your home or cooking a big family dinner, it’s important to learn basic safety precautions to prevent a serious accident resulting in injuries. Keeping your entryways clear from ice and snow could not only protect your family from an accident but other people passing through your homes such as postal service workers or pedestrians. Read our safety tips to prevent an accident at home during the winter.
Accidents Caused by Decorations
It’s that time of the year when we start decorating our homes for the upcoming holidays. Unfortunately, putting up decorations is a common way people suffer injuries during this time of the year. Falls from ladders or roofs are common as people place lights and other decorations. To avoid an injury from ruining this holiday season, make sure that ladders are on a level surface and that the area around and below the ladder is clear. If a ladder is not long enough to reach your work area, change ladders or move the ladder, it’s always better to move a ladder than to overreach. Make sure that decorations are securely placed, and they won’t cause someone to trip over them or an object to fall on someone.
In 2009, 17,300 burn injuries treated in emergency rooms were caused by an oven or cooking range. Home fires involving cooking peak during the holiday season. Popular holidays such as Thanksgiving revolve around the tradition of cooking big family meals, unfortunately, some people suffer severe burn injuries or property damage caused by a cooking fire. To prevent a burn accident, make sure that cooking areas are well ventilated, never leave hot appliances unattended, wear proper clothes when handling hot cooking equipment or appliances, and keep children away from ovens or hot stoves.
Fires could also be caused by decorations not placed in a safe location, make sure that you keep decorations away from heat sources. If you’re purchasing an artificial Christmas tree, check the manufacturing label to see if it’s safe to put lights on it. If you’re using a real tree this year, make sure you water it frequently, so it stays fresh longer. A dry tree is more likely to catch on fire than a fresh one.
Slip and Falls
Icy and snowy conditions make walking surfaces slippery and slips are more likely to happen. To avoid your family or a guest from suffering an accident in your home, make sure you keep driveways, entryways, sidewalks, and other high foot traffic areas clear from snow and ice. Keeping your home clear of snow and ice will help protect your family and pedestrians that walk by your house. Depending on your state’s laws and the specifics of the accident, if you are found to have acted negligently you may be held liable for personal injuries resulting from an accident in your home. If you’re walking outside your home in the dark, watch the path before you, to make sure it’s not icy and slippery. Wear shoes that have a good grip on the surface.
Swimming Pool Accidents
While you may not be using a pool during the winter months, an unsecured pool could still pose a risk, especially to children. According to data from the CDC, in the U.S. there were 3,536 fatal drowning accidents annually from 2005-2014. Drowning accidents are most common among young children. If you have a swimming pool in your home it’s important that you enforce strict safety rules when inside or near the pool, you can also install safety devices to avoid an accident. Some safety devices you could install include a fence surrounding the pool, the fence should be tall enough that a child cannot climb over it, keep the fence’s door locked to prevent a child from opening it and using the pool without supervision. You can also install pool alarms and pool covers to block access to the water when adults are not around.