Holiday Safety Tips

The holidays are here! The days are getting colder, shorter and more festive! While this snowy season brings holiday cheer, decorations, and good food it may also bring new hazards into your home.  Here are some tips to keep you and your family safe during the holidays.

  • Protect yourself against fire hazards – never use lit candles near trees or flammable material, keep the tree at least 3ft away from fireplaces and radiators, choose a tree that is labeled fire resistant, check your holiday lights for damaged wires, and turn the lights and decorations off when not in use.
  • Food safety – when preparing a meal, wash your hands, any utensils, the sink, and anything else that touches raw meat. Reheat leftovers at at least 165°F. Keep your pets in mind too! Some Christmas plants, flowers, and desserts may be toxic to cats and dogs if ingested, so be sure to keep the mistletoe and the chocolate cookies out of your pets’ reach.
  • Slips, trips, and falls – make sure your tree has a stable platform, so it doesn’t collapse. When putting up decorations use a step ladder to reach high places. If using a ladder, be sure to follow safe ladder instructions and don’t stand higher than instructed and check to make sure your ladder isn’t broken.
  • Security – if you are going on vacation for the holidays, don’t post about it on social media until you are back. People often look for vacant houses to steal from. Give a trusted friend or family member a copy of your agenda and the number of the hotel or house you will be staying at in case of emergencies.
  • Keep the kids safe! – the same decorative plants that are toxic to your pets may also be toxic to children, so keep them out of reach as well. When decorating the tree, avoid placing breakable ornaments or ones with small detachable parts on lower branches. When giving gifts, be sure they are age-rated appropriate, choose toys for children under 3 that do not have small parts and batteries that could be choking hazards. If giving a scooter or riding toys as a gift, include a helmet and other safety gear as well.
  • Driving safety – the biggest hazard in the winter is driving in dangerous weather conditions. If the roads are snowy or icy, drive slowly, be cautious, and always wear your seat belt. Prepare an emergency preparedness kit in our car if you get stuck with blankets, food, kitty litter, and other lifesaving supplies. Lastly, distracted and impaired driving is increased over the holidays so use defensive driving. People are tired, stressed and rushed, people are distracted on their cellphones, and people are driving drunk. Don’t be the one to put others in harm’s way, so pull over if you feel too tired to drive, your text message can wait until you get home, and designate a sober driver before you go out to a holiday party.

With these safety tips, you can be sure that whichever holiday you celebrate this December will be the most wonderful time of the year!