The holiday season is in full swing and there are plenty of trips, the family gathers, and parties to be planned and prepared for. One thing that may take a back seat during this hectic and exciting time of year is safety. Take a few minutes before and during this craziness to make sure safety takes a priority and will allow you to celebrate the season worry-free. Below is a great list of holiday safety tips.

Avoid hazards with your tree

  • Buy a fresh tree with green needles and keep it watered. Dried out and browning needles on Christmas trees are a huge fire hazard and easily avoidable.
  • If purchasing an artificial tree, ensure it is marked/labeled as “Fire Resistant.”
  • Keep heaters, candles (battery operated are good alternatives) and open flames away from the tree and other plants.
  • Ensure your tree stand is sturdy enough for your tree to avoid any toppling that could occur.

Electrical outlets and decorations

  • Don’t overload electrical outlets.
  • Don’t plug in more than one high-wattage appliance into one outlet at once.
  • Decorations: Inspect each electrical decoration for damaged sockets, exposed wires, or loose connections that could shock someone or even start a fire.
  • Don’t connect more than three strings of incandescent lights as it may blow a fuse or cause a fire.
  • Keep combustibles away from any heat source such as a fireplace or hot oven.
  • If little kids are around, keep an eye on them and keep smaller decorations out of their reach.

Preparing Food

  • Stay in the kitchen when something is cooking or be within sight.
  • Before beginning to cook, ask guests about any food allergies.
  • Cook food thoroughly.
  • Clean any cutting boards or surfaces that uncooked meats had been prepared.

Going to sleep or leaving the house

  • Lock your doors and windows.
  • Shut your blinds and don’t leave presents stacked under the tree in sight of onlookers from outside.
  • Leave a porch light on at night to deter intruders and arm your security system if you have one.
  • When leaving the house or going to sleep, extinguish all candles and fires and unplug any electrical decorations or lights.
  • Family gatherings are popular times to get together and eat and drink. Make sure you have a designated driver identified if you plan on driving anywhere after a get together.

General

  • Shred documents containing purchase information, such as credit cards and other personal information, before putting them into the trash. This time of year is when identity theft increases due to more spending around the holidays.
  • Ensure your homeowner’s, auto, and life insurance policies are all up to date so there are no surprises before the holidays kick into high gear.

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