Enjoy a Safe Holiday Season
Holiday safety is an issue that begins from late November to mid-January, when friends and families gather, parties are scheduled and travel spikes. Take some basic safety measures to ensure you stay safe throughout the season.
Stay safe on the roads
- Make sure to have a sober driver to ensure guests make it home safely after a holiday party.
- Get a good night’s sleep before driving and avoid drowsy driving.
- Make sure every person in the vehicle is properly fastened up and wearing seatbelts no matter how long or short the distance you’re travelling.
- Put your cell phone away; many distractions happen while driving, but cell phones are the main cause.
Decorating is one of the best ways to get in the holiday mood, but emergency rooms see thousands of injuries involving holiday decorating every season.
When decorating follow these tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:
- Keep potentially poisonous plants – mistletoe, holly berries, Jerusalem cherry and amaryllis – away from children.
- If using an artificial tree, check that it is labeled “fire resistant”.
- Avoid placing breakable ornaments or ones with small, detachable parts on lower tree branches where small children can reach them.
- Only use indoor lights indoors and outdoor lights outdoors, and choose the right ladder for the task when hanging lights.
- Replace light sets that have broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections.
- Follow the package directions on the number of lights sets that can be plugged into one socket.
- Never nail, tack or stress wiring when hanging lights and keep plugs off the ground away from rainwater and irrigation systems.
- Turn off all lights and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house.
Beware of Fire-Starters
Use of candles, combined with an increase in the amount of flammable decorations in many homes during the holidays, means greater risk for fire. The National Fire Protection Association US, reports that one-third of home decoration fires are started by candles.
- Place candles where they cannot be knocked down or blown over and out of reach of children.
- Keep matches and lighters up high and out of reach for children in a locked cabinet.
- Use flameless, rather than lighted, candles near flammable objects.
- Never leave candles or fireplaces burning unattended or when you are asleep.
Give Gifts Safely
Gifts and toys should not cause injuries but give joy. Toys are age-rated for safety, not for childrens’ physical ability, so make sure to choose toys in the correct age range.
- Choose toys for children under 3 that do not have small parts which could be choking hazards.
- For children under 10, avoid toys that must be plugged into an electrical outlet.
- Be careful about toys that have button batteries or magnets, these can be harmful or fatal if swallowed.
- When giving scooters and other riding toys, make sure they also have the appropriate safety gear; helmets should always be worn, and they should be sized to fit.
Keep your holidays happy by handling food safely. The foodsafety.gov website from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides some valuable holiday food safety tips:
- Wash your hands frequently when handling food.
- Keep raw meat away from fresh produce.
- Use separate cutting boards, plate and utensils for uncooked and cooked meats to avoid cross-contamination.
- Use a food thermometer to make sure meat is cooked to a safe temperature.
- Refrigerate hot or cold leftover food within two hours of being served.
- When storing turkey, cut the leftovers in small pieces so they will chill quickly.
- Thanksgiving leftovers are safe for three to four days when properly refrigerated.
Protecting you and yours over the holidays.
Unfortunately, the amount of burglaries rises during the weeks running up to Christmas so you must take some precautions to keep your valuables and homes safe.
- Close and lock all windows and doors when you go out. The Christmas period is a time full of social events and excitement, so make sure you take a couple of minutes each time you leave the house to make sure all entrances are secure.
- Don’t leave any gifts or valuables in view next to windows or doors.
- If you are travelling off island for the holidays, use a light automation system to make it appear that someone is home.
- Don’t leave the packaging for electrical items or other expensive gifts outside your house.
- Check how secure your doors and windows are.
- Have a professional carry out a free survey and provide you with feedback on all of the vulnerable areas of your home with recommendations on how you can enhance your security.
Happy Holidays from The Security Centre team!