Dangerous U.S. Holidays, and Tips For Making Them Safer

Holidays are meant to be celebrated with friends and family. Whether the holiday requires you to exchange gifts, eat delicious food, dance, or swim, holidays in the U.S. can be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, they can be dangerous too.

It’s normal to let your hair down and relax when you’re celebrating a holiday, but if you aren’t careful, you could be putting you and the others you are celebrating with in danger. Here are some of the most dangerous holidays, what makes them dangerous, and tips to make them safer.

Fourth of July

One of the most dangerous holidays in the United States is the Fourth of July. That’s because a lot of different, potentially dangerous things come together to increase your risk of experiencing an accident.

Firework injuries are a real threat during the Fourth of July. Death can also occur. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 12 fireworks-related deaths in 2019. If you aren’t injured, you could damage property. Every year, houses, garages, and other structures catch fire due to flying fireworks.

That’s not all. There are more people on the road, more people on the water, and plenty of drinking that can put you in danger.

Stay safe on the Fourth by leaving the firework show to the professionals. Make sure children are closely monitored if they use sparklers, and put all the fireworks away as soon as the alcohol starts flowing. Follow these tips and you’ll greatly decrease your chances of experiencing an accident on the Fourth of July.

Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras is a surprisingly dangerous holiday. It isn’t celebrated with the same gusto throughout the United States, which means the danger mostly lies in New Orleans on the day, as well as the days leading up to Fat Tuesday.

Over 100 car accidents happen in New Orleans on the Saturday before Mardi Gras, but spikes in accidents begin weeks ahead of the big day. That’s not all. Pedestrian accidents are a real issue on Mardi Gras as the streets are packed. With so many parades, float riders and spectators are sometimes injured.

Alcohol contributes to the majority of these accidents, so keeping your alcohol consumption in check is the best way to avoid injury on Mardi Gras. Limit the number of drinks you plan to consume, or drink a glass of water in between each alcoholic drink.


There’s nothing overly dangerous about Thanksgiving itself, unless you count the food coma most of us experience after eating so much turkey, mashed potatoes, and pie. It’s the road you really have to watch out for.

Hundreds of people are killed on the road coming and going from their Thanksgiving day celebrations. With so many extra people on the road who normally wouldn’t be, it should come as no surprise that there are more accidents. Add full bellies and alcohol to the mix and you’re even more likely to get in an accident.

Take a nap before you leave, if you can, and avoid traveling the day before, the day of, or the day after. If you can hop in the car well ahead and after the day, and especially if you avoid traveling during the middle part of the day, you can avoid a lot of the extra Thanksgiving day traffic.


Christmas can be dangerous for some of the other reasons on this list, like overdoing the alcohol consumption and traveling to your destination. However, there is an additional threat—fire.

Fire departments across the United States responded to an average of 770 home structure fires between 2014 and 2018. Those included decorations. They didn’t even include Christmas trees.

Keep your home safer during the holiday season by following fire safety tips like:

  • Never place open flames on or near Christmas trees.
  • Inspect strings of lights for damage before hanging them.
  • Never overload a circuit of Christmas lights.
  • Turn off all lights before leaving the house or going to bed.
  • If you have a real Christmas tree, keep it hydrated.
  • Have your chimney inspected every year.
  • Never leave a candle burning when you leave the room.

New Year’s Eve

Car accidents are a real danger on New Year’s Eve, but that isn’t the only danger you have to look out for. Alcohol poisoning and having something slipped into your drink are real threats at crowded bars. Flying corks are also a surprising danger!

Prepare for your evening by making sure you eat a nutrient-filled meal before you begin drinking and secure a sober ride home. Never leave your drink unattended, and consider using a gadget that can identify date rape drugs before you take a sip.

Labor Day

Labor Day is the unofficial end of the summer, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that much of the danger around this holiday has to do with the water.

Boat accidents are a real danger on Labor Day, but it’s not just motorboats that are at risk. Other boats, like kayaks, can also be vulnerable during the holiday weekend.

Don’t drink and drive a boat. Not only is it dangerous, it’s against the law. It’s also a good idea to wear a life jacket until the boat comes to a complete stop.

Memorial Day

Although Memorial Day is arguably the least dangerous holiday, it still deserves a mention. Most of the dangers associated with this holiday have to do with drinking and driving, especially since it’s a three-day weekend for many.

Go to that BBQ, but make sure you’re ready to drive home when the time comes. If you have had a little too much to drink, call an Uber instead of trying to drive home yourself.

Holidays are supposed to be fun! Unfortunately, the fun can end quickly because holidays can be dangerous too. Knowing which dangers to look out for during which holidays and following the safety tips on this list will help keep you, your family, and your home safe no matter what you’re celebrating.