The holiday season is upon us, which means festive celebrations, flickering lights, and, of course, lots of decorations. While the hustle and bustle of the season may distract us from potential risks that surround us during this time of year, it’s easy to put these simple holiday safety tips into practice to ensure that you and your family remain safe and injury-free this season.
Many house fires are started by candles and decorations that are placed too close to a heat source. Keep these holiday safety tips in mind when you’re arranging your decorations, lighting that wonderful vanilla candle, and placing it next to the Christmas tree:
- Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
- Replace lights that are worn or that have broken cords or loose bulb connections.
- Keep lit candles away from decorations and other flammable things. Never leave them unattended, and remember to blow them out when you leave or go to bed.
- Use clips instead of nails to hang lights so that cords don’t get damaged or punctured.
- Use surge protectors to plug in lights to avoid overloading power outlets.
- Turn off all light strings and decorations before going to bed or leaving your home.
- Do not block doors that are used as exits in case of an accidental fire.
- Keep garlands and trees away from heat sources.
Stay Warm and Safe
The colder weather probably makes you want to curl up next to the fire with your fuzzy socks and hot chocolate. But before you get too comfortable, make sure you’re following these holiday safety tips:
- Keep space heaters away from curtains, furniture, or other flammable materials.
- Never leave space heaters running or unattended while you’re sleeping.
- Make sure your fireplace and furnace are professionally checked every year.
- Lock doors and windows when leaving your home, even if only for a few minutes.
- Make sure holiday gifts and valuables are not displayed visibly through windows or doors.
- Make sure all burglar and smoke alarms are working properly.
At this time of year, expect stores, malls and downtown streets to be packed with shoppers. People will likely be rushing around town looking for last-minute gifts. As a shopper, make sure you’re following these simple holiday safety tips:
- Shop before dark whenever possible.
- Stay alert and aware of your surroundings.
- Always park in well-lit spaces. Lock your car, close the windows, and hide shopping bags in the trunk.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash, and pay with a credit card whenever possible.
- Don’t overburden yourself with packages. Carry purses and bags close to your body, and put your wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket.
- Teach your kids to go to a store clerk or security guard if you get separated.
Protect Your Vehicle
As you go from store to store, it can be tempting to leave your shopping bags or packages in plain sight in your car. Before you throw your purchases in the back seat and head in to the next store, double check to make sure you’ve followed these holiday safety tips:
- Hide shopping bags and gifts in the trunk of the car.
- Lock your vehicle and use any anti-theft devices available.
- Move anything left in plain view that could tempt a thief, like spare change, electronics, sunglasses, cell phones, brief cases etc.
Keeping these holiday safety tips in mind may help you enjoy the season more with some extra peace of mind!