Halloween Decorations and Burn Injuries

Halloween is an exciting time for families with young children as well as college students and recent graduates. While these two groups obviously have vastly different ideas as to what constitutes the perfect Halloween party, one thing they do share is a love of Halloween decorations. This includes carved real pumpkins, plastic pumpkins, spider webs, lights, candles, smoke machines, and anything else
you can imagine.

1250811_halloween_related.jpgWhile these decorations can really add a lot to the festivities and be a lot of fun, according to a recent article in Claims Journal (as insurance industry trade publication), they can also serve as a potential fire hazard. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) states that between the years 2006 and 2010, there were 900 reported cases of home fires where the primary point of ignition was a decoration. Of these 900 home structure fires, one person was killed and 41 civilians were injured. The agency separates civilians from firefighters when reporting statistics, since firefighter deaths would skew the data, as they involve lots of additional variables.

As to the specific cause of the house fires, over 40 percent of the cases involved candles, and the majority of the remaining fires were a result of a decoration being placed too close to a heat source. While it seems obvious that it would be dangerous to place decorations, such as fake spider webs, near a burning fireplace, many people tend to overlook some less obvious heat sources, such as light bulbs.

In addition to fire-related injuries, there were other types of injuries noted on Halloween. One common type of injury involved someone slipping and falling on a person’s property. First, the insurance industry warns all people to make sure their driveway is adequately lighted, and they mentioned that having a decoration on one’s lawn could constitute an attractive nuisance. If a child was running across a person’s lawn instead of using the lighted driveway, it might be possible to file a lawsuit under the doctrine of attractive nuisance. As your Charlotte personal injury lawyer would be glad to discuss during a consultation, an attractive nuisance is where you have a condition on your property that is essentially inviting kids to come play, and if this results in an injury, you might be liable.

A common example of an attractive nuisance is a swimming pool. When you are not using the pool, it is best to make sure there is a fence to keep people away. If a child sees the pool and walks over to it when no lifeguard is present, he could be seriously injured or killed as a result of what would be classified as an attractive nuisance.

Another area of concern in terms of personal injury on Halloween for older partygoers involves the over consumption of alcohol. If the host of a party allows someone to drink too much, and that results in a serious personal injury at the party or even after the party, the social host may be liable for any damage done. With regard to damage done after the party, the test is whether that specific type of injury was foreseeable.

Contact our Carolina personal injury lawyers at Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.

Additional Resources:
Halloween Brings Up Scary Risks, October 30, 2015, Claims Journal, by Denise Johnson
More Blog Entries:
$25M South Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed in Student’s Death, Oct. 12, 2015, Greenville Injury Attorney Blog

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