‘Tis the Season for Safety

Winter traditions often involve preparing way too much food, gathering in deeply decorated rooms, and snuggling up next to a warm fire. However, we are stripped of some of these seasonal comforts with statistics reflecting that fires started by candles are four times more likely to occur during winter holidays (U.S. Fire Administration). Avoid the unnecessary stress of preventable accidents this holiday season by adopting these simple tips.

Make It a Cozy Fire, Not a Costly One

The U.S. Fire Administration reported that each year there are about 47,000 fires started during winter holidays, costing around $554 million in property damage. Check out these tips to avoid the extra stress of sparks this holiday season.

  • Trees
    • Purchase a fire resistant artificial tree or make sure your tree is properly watered
    • Keep Christmas trees away from fireplaces
    • Provide your Christmas tree with a stable platform
  • Lights
    • Check Christmas lights for worn insulation or fraying
    • Turn off Christmas lights when not in use
    • Never connect multiple extension cords for extra length
  • Contained Fire
    • Do not burn wreaths or wrapping paper in the fireplace
    • Clean the fireplace and chimney at least once a year
    • Keep candles away from the tree and other flammable decorations
  • Kitchen
    • Keep plastic wrap, oven mitts, paper cupcake tins, and wooden utensils away from the stove top

Guests, Children, and Dogs, Oh My!

The National Safety Council released a statistic that 2-3 people are treated in emergency rooms per hour during the holidays due to decorating-related injuries. Invite people into your home without worry this year by taking some simple precautions beforehand.

  • Keep poisonous plants out of reach of children and pets. Some poisonous plants to look out for are:
    • Holly
    • Mistletoe
    • Amaryllis and Daffodils
  • Make careful selections of gifts and toys for small children and infants. The wrong toy could be:
    • A choking hazard
    • Potentially eye damaging
  • Arrange decorations in a way as to avoid tripping hazards, or slippery areas.
    • Tip: pick up as you go when it comes to cooking and opening presents.

Leave Your Home and Your Headache

The best way to completely relax on your holiday vacation is by ridding yourself of any worries or concerns about the safety of your belongings at home. A recent FBI study reported over 400,000 U.S. burglaries take place during November and December each year with a solve rate of less than 15%. Here are some smart tips for leaving your home safe and sound during the holidays, or any time of the year!

  • Know Your Stuff
    • Inscribe valuables (televisions, stereos, computers, etc.) with an identifiable number
    • Take inventory of nicer appliances and jewelry with notes and pictures (inventory documents should be kept outside of the home)
  • Trick Those Thieves
    • Set lights on a timer while away to give appearance that you are home
    • Have a friend pick up mail or newspaper, or pause delivery while you are away
    • Have someone house sit in your absence so there is some commotion
  • Practical Protection
    • Install an alarm system
    • Lock all doors and windows
    • Request extra patrols in neighborhood

Make it a stress-free holiday season by taking extra measures to improve the safety of you, your loved ones, and your belongings!

Author: nkeithly

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