Hanging your Christmas lights, opening presents, overeating….and drinking usually makes the holiday season a busier-than-average time of year for emergency rooms.  The Law Offices of Steven S. Farbman would like for our friends and family to have a safe and enjoyable holiday season and offer the following safety tips:

  1. Be careful with kitchen knives.  Interestingly, more people are injured when cutting vegetables than when carving their turkey or ham.   Vegetables are harder than you think (for example carrots, cucumbers, leeks, etc.) and a knife can skitter off the vegetable onto the flesh of your non-dominant hand.  Also, they are often prepared last minute, when you may be in a hurry…and bad things happen with a knife when you are rushed!  To be safe, finish all cooking and food prep before your guests arrive, wear thin food-preparation gloves (available in many grocery stores) and make sure all of your knives are sharpened.
  2. Be careful opening gifts in those impenetrable plastic containers.  Take a moment to read the back of the package where there may be opening instructions. If you need to use scissors, use a pair of heavy duty shears and wear gloves.  The sharp edge of the plastic will cut you just as easily and deeply as a knife can.
  3. Be careful when cooking the turkey.  While you can get a burn from touching the oven rack or roasting pan (this actually happened to a friend of ours), you can really get hurt when using a turkey fryer.  These devices use about five gallons of oil heated to 350 degrees or more.  Hot oil can splash causing a first or second degree burn.  Be safe and wear heavy duty work gloves, closed shoes, long sleeve shirts and long pants.  
  4. Be careful climbing your ladder to hang Christmas lights.  Make sure the weather is good, wear slip-resistant shoes, and make sure the ladder is positioned properly with someone holding it for support.  And make sure you are using a safe ladder.  If your ladder is old, with bent legs and missing foot grips, then it is time for a new ladder.  Use a fiberglass or wood ladder if you are working anywhere close to power lines.  A metal ladder that touches a power line could deliver an electrical jolt…not good!
  5. If you are one of the few living in Florida with a fireplace or you are traveling to a cold weather climate this holiday season where you will be nestled near a crackling fire, make sure the chimney is cleaned before using the fireplace otherwise you run the risk of carbon monoxide entering your home.  Carbon monoxide is completely odorless and breathing even small amounts can cause headaches, nausea, chest pain and even death.  Carbon monoxide is responsible for more than 20,000 ER visits and more than 400 deaths annually.  Be safe and place a carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home (they cost as little as $20) and if you own a fireplace have it professionally cleaned regularly and have the chimney and flue checked for blockages and loose connections.
  6. And while our final tip should go without saying, if you plan on drinking this holiday season…DO NOT DRIVE!!!!
    Have a designated…SOBER…driver on hand.  If you do not have a designated driver, AAA and Bud Light have partnered to form a program Tow to Go, which offers free rides and tow of the vehicle (within 10 miles) to everyone during the holiday season from midnight on November 26 until 6AM on November 30 and from midnight on December 24 until 6AM January 1. Call (855) 2-TOW-2-GO or (855) 286-9246 for assistance.  Please put this number in you cell phone and tell your loved ones to do the same.  Or download onto your cell the Uber app ( or Redcap app ( or a telephone number for a taxi.

Now that you have followed these simple tips, enjoy your loved ones and good food, make good use of your time off, and travel safely.  Happy Holidays!


The Law Offices of Steven S. Farbman are always interested in the safety and well-being for the people of our community.  As always please feel free to contact my office with any legal questions you may have.  For more than 30 years, Steven S. Farbman has been helping members of this community who have been seriously injured due to the carelessness and negligence of others.    

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