Have a Safe Holiday Season With These Safety Tips
The holiday season is here once again and all over the world, people are getting ready to spend some time celebrating with their loved ones. In all the chaos of trying to do things like decorate our homes, get ready for parties, and shop for presents, it’s easy to forget how many ways there are for Christmas and the rest of the holiday season to become dangerous. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to make sure you have a safe Christmas.
With all the holidays that happen throughout the month of December, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate. If you’ll be attending a party or two throughout the month, make sure you celebrate responsibly. Car accidents caused by alcohol are a serious problem at this time of year. According to the CDC, 25,000 roadway injuries are caused by drinking and driving during the holiday season. It’s also estimated that 52% of fatal car accidents that occur on Christmas day and 57% of fatal car accidents on New Year’s Eve/Day are caused by alcohol.
If you’re planning to drink alcohol at a party, make sure you either have a designated driver, the phone number for a cab company saved in your phone, or a ridesharing app like Uber or Lyft on your phone. Also, don’t forget to eat a good meal before you leave for the party and continue to eat once you’re at the party. If you’re the one hosting the party, try to keep an eye on how much alcohol your guests consume and if it looks like someone may have had too much to drink, make arrangements for them to get a ride home.
Think Twice Before Choosing Gifts
When you’re looking for the perfect gift for someone, it can be tempting to go right ahead and buy it when you find it. But the last thing you want to find out is that you accidentally gave someone a defective or dangerous product as a gift. If you’re shopping for gifts for a child, be sure to look for toys that are age appropriate and don’t pose a choking hazard, like magnets, balloons, and other small items.
No matter how old a person you’re shopping for is, checking sites like recalls.gov and safeproducts.gov to see if specific items have been recalled is always a good idea. There are many different ways a product can be defective, but between the recent Samsung Galaxy Note 7 recall and last year’s numerous reports of exploding hoverboards, overheating and exploding batteries have become a major hazard to watch out for. Although stores are legally required to stop selling products that have been recalled, some of them might still make their ways onto store shelves.
The holiday season just wouldn’t be complete without all those beautiful decorations. Just make sure you decorate your home safely! While you’re putting up your Christmas tree, be sure to keep it away from fireplaces and other sources of heat. If you have an artificial tree, make sure it’s flame resistant. If you have a real tree, keep it well watered so it doesn’t dry out and become a fire hazard. Have young kids in the house? Place ornaments that are easily breakable, have sharp metal hooks, or could pose a choking hazard higher up on the tree.
Whether you’re just planning to put up a few lights outside your home or are planning a holiday light show that would make Clark Griswold proud, always have someone ready to help if you’re going to be working on a ladder. But before you start hanging those lights, inspect your lights to make sure they’re still in good condition. If the cords on your lights have gotten frayed, cracked, or otherwise damaged, it’s time to get new lights. Make sure you’re using lights that are UL approved and are marked as being safe for outdoor use. The same thing applies for lights you’re using to decorate your Christmas tree, but in this case, you’re safe to use indoor lights.
Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget about candles and the fireplace. Lit candles or a fire in the fireplace can make your home feel very cozy during the holidays, but they can cause a tragedy if proper precautions aren’t taken. Make sure candles are kept away from the Christmas tree and placed where young kids can’t reach them. Always remember to blow out candles before going to bed or leaving the house. Never leave a fire burning in the fireplace unattended and do not try burning things like torn up wrapping paper or wreaths in your fireplace.
Have a safe holiday season!