Insurance company UNIQA has released its annual compilation of impending distasters to look out for this Christmas season; while we had our money on carp bones as being the most dangerous aspect of the Czech holidays, a number of more mundane, though apparently no less nefarious, surprises also appeared on the list. (Electric candles? Ladders? Who knew?)
The data, compiled from the previous year’s insurance claims, also reads like a tongue-in-cheek guide to Czech holiday traditions, beginning with the lighting of candles and advent wreaths (#1), which the company reports in recent years have been joined by another fiery fiend: electric candles of “dubious origin.”
House cleaning, which traditionally gets underway in Czech homes as early as November was also listed as a top danger (#2); the insurers warn that spills from ladders while cleaning or overzealously decorating lead to numerous annual holiday injuries.
Several of the dangers listed (#3-4) involve driving: around the holidays a number of auto injuries in the Czech Republic are the result of distracted pedestrians wandering through the streets while drivers are also extra prone to make bad parking decisions or experience accidents on slippery roads.
Bursted pipes (#5) are possibly among the most boring of the hazards listed, unlike the remaining spots which belong mostly to booze (#6), festive fireworks displays (#9), and burglars (#7, #8, #10); true indicators of any really good Czech Christmas party.
The company reminds us that the “hilarity associated with pyrotechnics can end in sorrow,” as well as saying that the proverbial “one drink” has been the cause of many accidents and injuries, particularly on the ski slopes!
Those residing in the Czech Republic are also reminded that Christmas and New Years are prime time for thieves who are more likely to break into unatttended cottages, employ left-out ladders to enter homes, and monitor social media and what’s left in your trash to see who’s had an especially big visit from Ježíšek.
Wishing you a safe, relatively sober, and crime-report-free holiday season!