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12/27/2013 - Accidents, breaks common over the holiday season

Fortunately, most of these accidents aren't life-threatening.

So ends another holiday season, when over the next several weeks, Americans will devote much of their spare time to putting away window candles, lights and garlands, not to mention taking down the Christmas tree.

However, a good portion of consumers are likely packing up fewer ornaments and decorations than they started out with, given the prevalence of drops and miscues in the 30-plus days of celebration, according to the results of a recent survey.

The poll, which was performed by extended warranty service SquareTrade, found that at least 15 million American households wind up breaking something during the holiday season, whether its ornaments, appliances or gifts that they unwrapped on Dec. 25. Additionally, one in eight respondents said that they'd broken a laptop, phone, camera or some other technology-based device between late-November and the end of December.

In many of these instances, the breaks were due to the activities being done. For instance, one in four indicated that the accident happened while they were traveling, 12% in the course of shopping and 17% decorating or cooking.

"It's tough to be a device during the holidays," said Ty Shay, chief marketing officer for the San Francisco-based online service provider. "We were surprised to find that more than half of accidents were attributed to activities like traveling, holiday shopping, cooking and decorating."

Fortunately, most of these accidents aren't life-threatening. But, given that cooking (one of the main ways in which accidents happen) tends to increase during the holiday season - it warrants some concern.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve rank as the second and third-most common days for cooking fires, leading to many homeowners insurance claims. The NFPA devotes a portion of its website to winter fires and how consumers can ensure they stay safe throughout the cold weather season.

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