Tips to Avoid and Unwanted Holiday Accident

McLario, Helm, Bertling, & Spiegel, S.C.

The holidays are in full swing and with this comes an onslaught of holiday parties, decorating and other jolly festivities. While the Christmas season is touted as the “most wonderful time of the year,” it can also be an opportunity for mishaps and accidents. Here are some tips to keep you and your family safe and merry this holiday season.


Decking the halls is on the easiest ways to get into the holiday spirit. However, if you are not careful it can also be one of the quickest ways to an unwanted injury or accident.

  • O Christmas tree – If you decorate using real tree, make sure that it is fresh. In addition to leaving your floors covered with pine needles, a dry tree poses a significant fire risk. Look for needles that bend but don’t break when you crimp them between your fingers and pine resin at the base of the tree trunk.
  • Ladder safety – When trimming the outside of your home or even higher areas inside your house, be sure to place your ladder on firm, even ground. Additionally, make sure not to use the top of the ladder as a step.
  • Don’t overdo it – While a home bursting with holiday cheer is a thing of beauty, be sure that it is not a hazard and you are able to safely maneuver through your space without tripping on cords, decorations or other hazards.

Holiday Parties

Getting together with family and friends for the holidays is a great way to enjoy the season. If you are a party host, you have a responsibility to ensure the festivities are enjoyable and safe for your guests.

  • Food – Find out if any of your guests have food allergies. If possible, avoid serving these foods or offer additional allergy-free options. Be sure to label all food so that guests with allergy issues know which ones could pose a problem.
  • Pets – If you have a pet that does not enjoy crowds, put them in an area that will not be used by your guests or find a dog sitter for the evening. And remember, even the most docile animals could have issues with a lot of noise and commotion.
  • Household safety – Are your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors working properly? If not, be sure to replace them. In addition, make sure all appliances in your home are in good working order.
  • Candles and fireplaces – The flicker of a fire adds a special ambiance to the holidays. Be sure that all flames are contained in a safe area that is free from anything that could ignite or bump them. In addition, be sure your fireplace is in safe working order and you have conducted the proper maintenance prior to burning a fire.
  • Alcohol – If any of your guests overindulge, do not let them drive under any conditions. Find alternate transportation or ask them to spend the evening at your home.

While the throngs of Black Friday shoppers are behind us this year, the remainder of the holiday season will still bring out crowds to the local malls. Practice vigilance while you are out searching for those last minute holiday gifts.

  • Walkways and parking lots – Take care when crossing streets and always follow traffic signals. In addition, only cross in the marked crosswalks. When walking through a parking lot, do not walk down the middle of the road, rather, stay close to the parked vehicles. And, be cautions of cars as they are backing out. While you can see them, they might not always see you.
  • Be aware – One of the easiest ways to become a victim is to look like a victim. Always pay attention to your surroundings. If something looks suspicious move to safer area.
  • Hide Packages – Use your trunk or cover packages so that they do not become a temptation for would-be thieves.


In an earlier blog, we discussed tips for safe travel during the holidays. Practice defensive driving on the road and remember that even if you are driving safely, other motorists who share the road may not.

If you are injured this holiday season as the result of another party’s negligence, contact a qualified personal injury attorney such as the experts at McLario, Helm, Bertling & Spiegel.

Contact our professional Wisconsin attorneys to schedule a free case evaluation.
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