The holidays are a time for spending time with friends and family and making memories. By taking some precautions during the season, you can help ensure that the memories you create are good ones.
Holiday Safety Tips
1. Be careful with holiday decorations. Little children may be attracted to tree ornaments, so make sure that low hanging ornaments are sturdy and are hung by a string hoop rather than a metal hook. Avoid hanging tempting treats like candy canes from trees if there are small children in your home. They may try and grab one and inadvertently pull the tree down.
2. Use caution when consuming alcohol. Holiday time is party time. Between office get-togethers, community events and family celebrations it’s easy to overdo, even if you aren’t a regular drinker. Appoint a designated driver or rely on cabs, public transportation or rideshare services for getting around if you plan to drink.
3. Drive safely. Speaking of driving, not everyone is as cautious as you are. Be alert while driving and keep your eye after people who are driving erratically. Bad weather conditions can also contribute to holiday accidents, so monitor road conditions and adjust your travels accordingly.
4. Think about your pets. The holidays can present special dangers to animals. Like kids, they may become fascinated with the tree and its ornaments and accidentally knock it over. Broken glass ornaments can also be a hazard if a human or animal steps on the shards. Be careful about decorating your home with holiday plants. Holly, mistletoe, and amaryllis can be toxic to pets.
5. Consider roasting the turkey. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there have been 168 turkey-fryer incidents and accidents since 2002. These have caused nearly 700 injuries and $8 million in damage to property. Some restaurants will deep fry a turkey for you, eliminating the risk of harming yourself or your home. If you are certain that you want to have a deep-fried turkey for your Christmas meal, be sure to follow fryer directions and safety precautions.
6. Take care of your tree. Most lists of holiday safety tips include tree warnings, and for good reason. Water your tree daily and regularly examine light cords for frays and defects to reduce the chance of fire. Unplug light cords when you aren’t at home.
7. Practice candle safety. Many people enjoy burning scented decorative candles during the holidays. While candles are wonderful, they also present a fire hazard. A recent study published by the National Fire Protection AssociationIn noted that between 2009 in 2013, fire departments responded to 9,300 home candle fires each year. Never allow a candle to burn unattended.
8. Use a step ladder or step stool. Whether you are hanging lights, putting the star on top of your tree or taking decorations down for the season, don’t stand on shares or other furniture to do so. These furnishings are not designed to support the weight of a standing adult and could easily break under your weight, possibly causing a serious injury.
Holidays are a time for fun and relaxation, but this doesn’t mean that we can relax our safety standards. Use these holiday safety tips to prepare in advance for the season’s challenges and you can help ensure that your family remains healthy throughout the holidays.