Every year during this Holiday Season we are exposed to different dangers due to the extreme weather in Chicago and during the family celebrations. Here you can find the most common accidents that put you or your loved ones at risk of injuries:
- Be aware of the presence of black ice on the road that could potentially get you in a car accident. Black ice is a thin coat of highly transparent ice.
- Holiday celebrations are a great way to catch up with family and friends. These gatherings often involve food and alcohol. It’s your responsibility to designate a sober driver before the party begins. The other option is to get a cab or a ride-sharing service (Uber/ Lyft) afterwards.
- Wash your hands, utensils and food surfaces often.
- Keep raw foods separate from ready-to-eat foods. When shopping, preparing food or storing food, keep raw meat, poultry, fish and shellfish away from other foods. This prevents cross-contamination.
- Cook foods to a safe temperature. You can kill harmful organisms in most foods by cooking them to the right temperature.
- Refrigerate or freeze perishable foods promptly — within two hours of purchasing or preparing them
- Throw it out when in doubt. If you aren’t sure if a food has been prepared, served or stored safely, discard it.
Whether you’re carving a pumpkin or turkey, cut away from yourself, and make sure your utensils and cutting space are both dry, and your cutting utensils are well sharpened. It’s a good idea to keep kids and pets away from the area as well.
- Read the directions and warnings on all decorative lights packages to make sure you install them safely and properly.
- Don’t use indoor lights outside, or outdoor lights inside, or else you run the risk of the lights malfunctioning and starting a fire or giving you an electrical shock.
- Check the lights for any damage like a frayed wire or a cracked socket. It’s best to throw damaged lights out or repair them before decorating.
- Fireplaces and candles give a cozy and warm environment, but are a real threat. Families with children may want to consider using flameless candles or just keep them away from easily accessible places.
- Make sure you keep your Christmas tree fresh, if it’s a natural one. Trees which are way too dry are more prone to catch fire. On the other hand, if you are getting a fake one, make sure it’s fire-resistant.
- Keep space heaters at least three feet away from any flammable materials (curtains, wrapping paper…), and be especially careful to supervise children or pets around space heaters.
- If you need to put decorations up in hard-to-reach places, make sure you practice ladder safety. You want the ladder to be on a sturdy surface and the rungs to be clean and dry. If you have to step onto your roof, make sure someone else is around in case you lose your balance.
- Slipping and falling on ice can cause serious injuries. Pay attention to the surface you’re walking on so you avoid stepping on slick or uneven surfaces. This will help you maintain your balance or help you regain it quicker than you would if you didn’t pay attention.
- Wet store floors and parking lots are big slip and fall culprits during times of frantic holiday shopping. Watch your step, especially in high-traffic areas and store entrances, where water and snow get tracked in.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Simple precautions can help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:
- Install carbon monoxide detectors.
- Open the garage door before starting your car.
- Use gas appliances as recommended. For example, never use a gas stove or oven to heat your home.
- Keep your fuel-burning appliances and engines properly vented. These include:
- Space heaters
- Charcoal grills
- Cooking ranges
- Water heaters
- Portable generators
- Wood-burning stoves
- Car and truck engines
- Ask your utility company about yearly checkups for all gas appliances, including your furnace
- If you have a fireplace, keep it in good condition. Clean your fireplace chimney and flue every year.
- Keep vents and chimneys unblocked during remodeling. Check that they aren’t covered by tarps or debris.
- Make repairs before returning to the site of an incident. If carbon monoxide poisoning has occurred in your home, it’s critical to find and repair the source of the carbon monoxide before you stay there again. Your local fire department or utility company may be able to help.
- Use caution when working with solvents in a closed area. Methylene chloride, a solvent commonly found in paint and varnish removers, can break down (metabolize) into carbon monoxide when inhaled. Exposure to methylene chloride can cause carbon monoxide poisoning
Shoveling snow may put strain on your back. When shoveling snow, take frequent breaks to rest your back, or invest in a snow blower.
If you’ve been seriously injured due to someone else’s negligence, call The Romaker Law Firm today (312) 377-7000. You can discuss the details of your claim with one of our lawyers to learn what the specific value of it may be. All consultations are free.