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7 Common Safety Risks During The Holidays

7 Common Safety Risks During The Holidays

[This article was originally published in December 2021 and has been expanded and revised.]

The holiday season is typically considered to be the three months from Halloween though New Year's Day. And it can be a wonderful time, but also dangerous!

No one wants to end up in the hospital or emergency ward because of an inconvenient accident - especially not during the holidays. 


Seven Most Common Safety Holiday Safety Risks

“Thank you, Stockings, for being a long flammable piece of fabric people like to hang over a roaring fireplace.” - Jimmy Fallon

One of the inescapable aspects of the holidays is the vast number of safety and health risks that become more common and prominent during these months. In addition to fire hazards and the increase in petty crimes and rude encounters with Black Friday shoppers, accidents and injuries go through the roof - or off the roof, in some cases!

But the holidays don't have to be a time of wrenched backs, twisted ankles, or hypothermia. You can enjoy all the fun, food, family, and friends and still be safe - and jolly!

And part of being safe is being aware. So, we put together this overview of the some of the most common safety risks that occur more frequently during the holiday season.

Car Accidents

During the holiday months, winter weather and, oftentimes, alcohol can combine to lead to an increase in car accidents. While the statistics for these holidays are not as tragic as other times, such as Memorial Day and the 4th of July, car accidents are much more frequent around Christmas and New Year's than the rest of the year.


Whether it's off of a roof while hanging lights, or simply coming off of a ladder while topping the tree, falls increase dramatically during the holidays. And, when you add icy conditions and a bit too much eggnog or hot toddies, falls present a common hazard during the holidays.


"Shop till you drop" shouldn't be literal, but incidents during shopping and especially in crowded shopping malls increase exponentially during the holidays. As one source noted, about 21,000 children under the age of 5, for example, are taken to emergency departments for injuries related to shopping carts each year according to National SAFE KIDS Campaign.

Fires and Burns

Chestnuts roasting by an open fire sounds nostalgic, but holiday fire accidents are a real threat. For example, according to the US Fire Administration reports, for each year from 2017 to 2019, an estimated average of 2,300 residential building fires were reported to fire departments in the U.S. on Thanksgiving Day.


This might seem like a joke. However, the reality is that modern product packaging has become so sturdy and complex, in many instances, that people hurt themselves trying to extricate products from their packages.  According to one British study, difficult packaging puts 60,000 people in emergency rooms each year due to cuts, sprains, bruises, and muscle extensions. And a 2004 report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission found that 6,500 Americans go to the hospital each year trying to open gifts.”

Back Injuries

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are more than 5,800 injuries per year from holiday decorating. Based on data from the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 15,000 injuries from holiday decorating were seen in emergency departments nationwide in 2012 alone. There are 250 injuries a day during the holiday season, according to the CPSC, and the majority of these are back-related injuries.

Food Illnesses

Food and feasting is a central part of our holiday celebrations and activities. But food can be the cause of a great deal of misery when it isn't handled properly.

As one website notes,

"While you're going over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house, that dish you're bringing to her is cultivating bacteria that could give everyone food poisoning, a common occurrence this time of year. When you're transporting goodies over the holidays, keep your hot foods hot and your cold foods cold."



How to Have a Truly Happy Holidays

Staying safe this season starts with us. 

In other words, being aware of the potential dangers and hazards that seem to multiply during the holidays is a necessary requirement. Also, being "smart" when using tools, ladders, electrical equipment, and when working or playing outdoors. 

A beautiful winter wonderland also poses dangers from ice, extreme temperatures, and deep snow in many locations throughout the country. In addition, alcohol consumption goes up during the holidays, which means alcohol-related accidents tend to go up, as well. 

With all this in mind, we have put together this handy holiday safety checklist to help you as you navigate through your merry and bright holiday activities.


Holiday Safety Tips Infographic


Staying Safe at Home During the Holidays

The purpose of highlighting the various risks and dangers that can crop up during the holidays in particular is not to cast a pall of doom and gloom on the season. On the contrary, by being aware and proactive, you can take steps to help ensure that your holidays will always be "bright and merry" and free of trips to the Emergency Room.

As the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) points out, protecting children from hazardous toys and other products is core to CPSC’s mission. And it is a real and relevant issue in homes across the country.

'As a recent report released by CPSC notes,

[I]n 2021 there were more than 152,000 toy-related, emergency department-treated injuries to children younger than 15 years of age, including two deaths. The fatalities involved choking on a small part of a toy and suffocating on a soft toy in an unsafe sleep environment. Frequently, these injuries involved lacerations and contusions, and abrasions to the child’s face and head. Importantly, many of the incidents were associated with, but not necessarily caused by, a toy. For children younger than 15 years old, non-motorized scooters continued to be the category of toys associated with the most injuries. Males accounted for 58 percent of all of the injuries.

Fortunately, some of the various hazards mentioned in this article can now be avoided or at least minimized thanks to a slew of nifty tech products for the holidays.

These include:

  • A Christmas tree watering system - Designed to look like a gift, this product waters your tree with a tank and automatic watering tube.
  • Indoor/outdoor smart plug - This plug works with an app and other smart home devices to let you control your lights from anywhere.
  • App-controlled string lights - Remotely manage these lights for different colors, effects, and even synchronized multiple light strands in your home.
  • Smart plugs for outlets - These devices can make it appear as though someone is home, even if you’re away on a holiday vacation.

Keeping the Holiday Cheer Despite Coronavirus

Unfortunately, staying safe this year also still means being aware of the continuing threat of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

As a recent news story from Reuters reports,

The United States in January will extend the COVID-19 pandemic status as a public health emergency, allowing millions of Americans to keep getting free tests, vaccines and treatments, a Biden administration official said on Friday.

The possibility of a winter surge in COVID cases and the need for more time to transition out of the public health emergency to a private market were two factors that contributed to the decision, the official said.

The public health emergency was initially declared in January 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic began, and has been renewed each quarter since. But the government in August began signaling it planned to let it expire in January.

This holiday season is a similar in many ways to the last few years year when it comes to social distancing, weighing options for wearing masks, and determining how to best celebrate together with family and friends.

While the overall state of things when it comes to coronavirus is not as severe as it was in 2020 or even 2021, it is smart to limit how and where you shop and to continue following the standard health and safety practices.

As part of our ongoing efforts to always provide safe junk removal at Junk King, we continue to treat this ongoing health crisis seriously and have gone to great lengths to ensure that our junk removal services are safe and compliant in light of the guidelines and direction provided by the CDC and other agencies.

We maintain a six foot distance from every customer and our junk haulers can pick up at your curbside if you prefer, and not have to enter your home. Gloves, masks, and hand sanitizers are provided on every truck used to protect you and our haulers.

In addition, you can pay for our services over the phone to limit social exposure. We do this to help ensure that all our customers will have a safe and healthy holiday season!


Stay Safe During the Holidays with Trash and Junk Removal, Too!

Whether you are cleaning up your home after the Christmas extravaganza, or preparing for the upcoming spring, we can provide you with the tools you need to get rid of unwanted junk.  Our professional and friendly crew can do the heavy lifting and hauling for you.

Or if you prefer, you can even load your own trash, debris, or junk yourself by renting one of our handy MINI Dumpsters.

Either way, we have the best solutions for you.

After you call, our expert and insured trash and junk removal team will call 15 to 30 minutes before we show up at your home. And once we arrive we’ll give you a free estimate based on how much room your items take up in our truck.

Then you just point and we’ll haul your items into our junk removal trucks, all with no hidden fees.

Ready to get rid of your holiday junk? It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3.

Just make an appointment by booking online above or by calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865)



7 Common Safety Risks During The Holidays


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