Keep Your Family Safe This Holiday Season header image

Keep Your Family Safe This Holiday Season

The holidays are a time to celebrate, but all too often they become a time for mishaps. Keep your family safe, healthy and happy as you navigate the holidays.

At home

Lighting

Every year, you unpack your holiday decorations to create a festive space, but when’s the last time you checked your lights for safety hazards? This year, double check your lights for loose connections, exposed or frayed wires or broken sockets. It’s tempting to rig up a faulty light to salvage a string, but it’s not worth the potential fire risk. If you go all out with outside holiday lights and decorations, be careful not to overload your electrical circuit. You never know what may happen when you’re away from home.

Don’t string lights through a window or door. Even the smallest crack gives intruders an easy way into your home.

If you have little hands helping deck the halls, watch for sharp edges or broken glass. Check your ornaments and table décor and watch little fingers around metal hooks.

Use a sturdy step stool to reach the top of the tree and a ladder to hang lights on the roof. Don’t try to balance on a chair or other piece of furniture. One slip could set you up for a very unhappy holiday.

Fires

The National Fire Protection Association reports 12 percent of home candle fires occur in December. A merry fire, combustible seasonal decorations and glowing candles leave you more at risk for fire. Clean your chimney and fireplace area every year, and don’t leave the house with a fire burning.

Similarly, don’t leave candles unattended or burn them near trees, wrapping paper, wreaths or other flammable objects. Getting drowsy? Blow out your candle before you hit the sack.

Pets

A Poinsettia will jazz up your mantel, but it may harm your pets. Keep dogs and cats away from that iconic red foliage. Here’s how to keep your pets healthy during the holidays.

Packages

Keep your packages safe. If you’re expecting a gift or getting a gift you intend to have delivered, try to be home for the delivery. When holiday deliveries ramp up, would-be thieves are on the lookout for packages.

After you’ve unwrapped your holiday haul, find ways to disguise any big gifts. Otherwise, thieves may see you as a tempting new target. Cut up the box for your new big screen TV and repurpose the box to your new laptop.

In the kitchen

Washing hands

Spread good cheer, not germs. Wash your hands, and insist any helpers wash up too.

Resist the temptation to rinse raw meat or poultry. Splashing water can spread bacteria onto clothing, work surfaces and cooking equipment.

Leftovers

As tempting as it is to leave your holiday feast out all day for seconds (and thirds), you run the risk of getting sick by not refrigerating food promptly. If your leftovers start to look or smell a little off, toss them. One last meal of mashed potatoes and gravy isn’t worth food poisoning. Unsure how long leftovers can last? The U.S. Department of Agriculture has guidelines to help you out.

On the road

Holidays come with extra traveling. Take extra care to be safe on the road including avoiding driving distracted. Keep your cell phone put away and make sure everyone is buckled up. We hope you have a safe and happy holiday season!

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