The holiday season is a treasured time to share with loved ones. But sometimes the very things that make celebrations like Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year so special also bring their own set of risks. So when you’re preparing for your winter festivities this year, be sure to take some basic safety precautions so you can enjoy your merrymaking with less worry.
Avoid Disaster When Decking the Halls
Twinkle lights, ornaments and garlands add holiday cheer and sparkle. But these items can be hazardous when put up incorrectly or unsafely — or aren’t in good working condition. Carefully inspect the wiring of any electrical decoration (like your life-sized animated, glow-in-the-dark reindeer) before you plug it in and throw away any broken ornaments to help prevent injuries. Remember that small baubles can be choking hazards for children and pets, so keep them well out of the reach of curious hands and paws. And make sure you can safely walk around your displays and wires without the risk of tripping. When hanging lights or putting decorations high up, such as on the roof, use a stable ladder and have someone help you. When guests arrive, make sure they’re welcomed with clear, well-lit walkways and steps (salted if needed) so nobody trips or slips.
Outsmart the Grinch
With so many big purchases happening around the holidays, theft is a major concern. Don’t help a Grinch steal your holiday; while out shopping, keep expensive purchases in the trunk and keep them out of sight from your front door and windows at home. Always lock your house and car (even if you’re only planning to step out for a minute), roll up windows and arm your security system. Park in well-lit areas, and set your house lights on timers when you’re away. Never broadcast holiday travel plans on social media in real time — it tells would-be thieves when there’s an opportunity to strike. And don’t tempt burglars by prominently displaying the box from your new big-screen TV curbside on trash day.
Add Holiday Sparkle Safely
Everyone loves a roaring fire or a console table adorned with elegant tapers. But before you snuggle up in front of your blazing hearth or light a row of pine-scented pillars, do a quick safety check. Make sure candles are resting on a stable surface and unlikely to be knocked over. Keep a fire extinguisher close by, and be sure your fireplace has a screen in place to contain flying embers. Most importantly, never leave burning candles unattended, or leave your home with a fire going in the fireplace, and keep flammable objects like draperies away from an open flame or other heat sources such as space heaters and electric fireplaces. Finally, make sure you have working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors throughout your home.
We love to pull out all the stops for holiday cooking, whether for a big formal feast or a laid-back holiday cocktail party. But you’re more likely to be distracted with so much going on, so this is a good time to remember safe kitchen and entertaining practices. Keep your surfaces clean and uncontaminated, make sure cooked items reach recommended internal temperatures and refrigerate leftovers promptly. Make sure one of your fire extinguishers is rated to handle kitchen grease fires. Store knives safely away when not in use and always have a first aid kit on hand for minor mishaps. Lastly, be sure to offer nonalcoholic drink options for designated drivers to help ensure your holiday guests have a safe trip home.
Happy Holidays From We Insure
Being mindful of safety risks can help keep your holiday celebrations memorable in a good way. All of us at We Insure — our agents, staff and corporate office — wish you and your loved ones a happy, and safe, holiday season!
The information contained in this page is provided for general informational purposes only and may not be applicable to all situations. We Insure makes no guarantees of results from the use of this information.