The holidays involve decorating, entertaining guests, and cooking delicious meals. While these activities help set a festive mood, they also pose hidden risks. Here are a few tips for safety during the holidays.
Lighting Safety During the Holidays
Conduct a thorough inspection of your lights before hanging them and replace any light strands with damaged cords or bulbs. When changing bulbs, use bulbs with the correct wattage to avoid an electrical problem.
Once you have confirmed the lighting is in good condition, be careful to not overload outlets or extension cords when plugging in lights. Keep children and pets away from light strands to avoid accidents. Finally, when you leave home or go to bed, switch off the holiday lights to help prevent an electrical fire.
Holiday Tree Safety Tips
A freshly cut tree is less susceptible to catching fire. Be sure to water the holiday tree and keep it away from open flames. Place the tree on a stable surface to prevent it from tipping over and causing injury. If you opt to purchase an artificial tree rather than a freshly cut one, make sure it’s labeled as “fire-resistant.”
Cooking Safety During the Holidays
Unattended cooking is a common cause of fires in the United States, and the winter holidays are the peak season for house fires. Prevent a fire by closely monitoring your oven and stove and never leaving the area when food is cooking. Clean spills right away to avoid slips and falls in the kitchen.
Fireplace Safety Tips
Gathering around a fireplace is an excellent way to keep warm and cozy. Make sure the flue is open before starting the fire. Use seasoned wood as fuel. Don’t burn wrapping paper or cardboard boxes in the fireplace. These materials can burn out of control and emit toxic fumes that are harmful to your health. Keep flammable objects like curtains, furniture, and rugs several feet from the fireplace.
Outdoor Safety Tips
Safety during the holidays isn’t limited to inside the house. Take safety measures outdoors, too. Keep the walkways and front porch safe and easy to navigate by shoveling snow and using ice-melt. Doing so will reduce the risk of injuries from falls.
Tips for Home Security
While you’re busy enjoying the holiday, burglars may be watching your home. Deter burglars by keeping curtains closed and bringing packages inside promptly. Use motion-sensing lighting to illuminate the yard after dark.
When you’re away for the holidays, ask a trusted neighbor to monitor your house for suspicious activity. Put the indoor lights on a timer to create the appearance that someone is home. Don’t post announcements online that you’ll be out-of-town. You compromise your home’s safety when you broadcast that it’s unoccupied.
The holidays are a time to relax and enjoy yourself, but it’s important to stay safe and well. Follow these tips for safety during the holidays.