Holidays can be a joyous occasion for your family, sharing joy and love along with billions across the globe. They may also be stressful affairs, rushing from last-minute gift shopping to hosting dinner parties to putting up decorations. In this hectic holiday season, it can be easy to overlook the most basic of priorities: safety. Whether at home or away, these tips will help you and your loved ones stay safe and secure, so you can enjoy a peaceful, happy holiday.
Festive lights are wonderful decorations to celebrate the season, but caution should be taken when stringing them, both inside and out. If using outdoor lights, make sure that they have been approved for outdoor use. Carefully checking the cords for exposed or frayed wire will help to avoid any sparks from worn lights. Replace any missing or broken bulbs to both reduce the risk of electrical shorting and get the most out of your string of lights. Candles can be a softer and more intimate replacement for indoor lights, but they pose a risk if left unattended. Be sure to extinguish all candles when leaving a room and keep them out of the reach of children, for everyone’s safety.
Christmas trees are a beautiful and time-honored tradition, and they are often the focal point of a decorative display. However, they can pose a major fire risk if treated improperly, so care should be taken in selecting and decorating a tree. If you prefer a real tree, try to select the freshest tree available. To test it for freshness, give the tree a shake; the fewer needles fall, the fresher the tree. If an artificial tree is more your style, make sure it is certified as fire resistant to minimize potential risk. When it comes time for decorating, choosing safe decorations will also minimize risk. Ornaments that are breakable, sharp, or look like food or candy can be a real hazard, especially when young children are present. Taking precautions with strung lights and choosing safe ornaments will help to ensure your tree is safe and looks great.
When cooking your favorite holiday foods, remember to take care with exposed burners and hot pots and pans. Turning the handles away from the edge of the stove will reduce the chance that a passing sleeve may catch one. Likewise, moving hot food and cookies to secure locations keeps inquisitive little hands and noses safe. When choosing a gift, stay away from gifts with small pieces or sharp edges if intended for a younger child. Being responsible in choosing age-appropriate gifts will ensure that the whole family has a safe and happy holiday.
Finally, the holidays can be a great time to remind your family of safety procedures and go over the basics of home security. Things like testing the smoke alarm and reviewing the fire escape plan can establish your family’s preparedness in case of trouble, and it can do wonders for your own peace of mind. With these few safety tips, you can minimize the risk in your house and enjoy a safe and happy holiday season.