Every Christmas period, hospital emergency departments fill with people suffering burns, scalds and other personal injuries incurred through accidents involving seasonal trappings.
Common causes of burns and scalds at the Christmas period
There are many different causes of injuries by burning or scalding during the Christmas period. Carelessly placed or left unattended candles can cause fires resulting in burn injuries, as can faulty wiring on fairy lights; defective heating appliances, cookers, or other faulty electrical equipment. In addition to the risk of fire, such faulty equipment can also lead to potentially serious burns as the result of electrocution. Trips and slips may result in hot beverages or food being spilled onto unsuspecting family members or restaurant visitors, and working close to steaming pots and pans in busy kitchens can easily result in scalding injuries. Sparklers and fireworks used to usher in the New Year are also often responsible for serious injuries.
Preventing accidents over the Christmas period
Many accidental injuries during this period can be avoided by following a few simple steps. Such steps include:
- Always place candles into safe positions away from curtains, overhanging streamers, garlands, and so on
- Make sure candles cannot be knocked over easily
- Never leave burning candles unattended
- Check old/ new Christmas lights for loose/ frayed wires and cracked sockets, and never use them if damaged in any way
- Never overload extension leads or sockets
- Never place electric lights onto metallic Christmas trees
- Always extinguish candles and turn off fairy lights when leaving the room or going to bed
- Do not leave cooking food unattended for long
- Make sure extension leads, discarded wrapping paper, boxes etc. do not create trip or slip hazards
- Always read and follow user manual instructions when trying out new electrical appliances and gadgets
So, in a nutshell, many injuries by scalding/ burning can be avoided by applying a little bit of common sense.
While these measures will go a long way towards keeping you safe at home, there is no guarantee that you will be just as safe in other people’s homes, pubs, bars or restaurants. Should you be injured by accident through no fault of your own in such a place, or as the result of faulty goods causing fires, you may be entitled to injury compensation.
You can establish claim eligibility and claim compensation by calling Accident Advice Helpline. Available 24/7, Accident Advice Helpline is a law firm operating under a conditional fee, or no-win, no-fee*, agreement.
Date Published: December 24, 2013
Author: David Brown