Holidays are a time to celebrate and spend time with friends and family, but they can also go horribly wrong and turn into a recipe for disaster. Holiday safety is an issue that needs to be taken seriously and treated as a priority at all times. When families gather for parties and travel, there are a lot more things that could go wrong. Make a list and check it twice. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and a few minutes of checking would save you any money that would be needed for repairs. There are countless small steps you can take to make sure your home is protected throughout this season.
Watch Out For Electrical Fires
Make sure you know the location of the junction box. This is the quickest way to turn off the power and limit any damage that might be done if there’s an issue with any electrical element. Call your power company and they’d send a team of electricians to check the house and replace any damaged cables. To help prevent an accidental fire:
- Replace any broken lights and throw away any damaged cords.
- Don’t install too many string lights on a tree. They should be adequately spaced.
- Before you start decorating, make sure you plan properly. You should know your starting and finishing spots for the decorations. For example, you start arranging lights from the door and stop at the window.
- You should make sure that the emergency exits are not blocked by any decorations and are easily visible for all to see.
- Do not install any external decoration without first checking the power stand. It’s important not to overload your electrical circuit. If you are uncertain about any set-up, it’s best to leave it to the electricians to prevent any human error.
- Before you string lights on the house or the tree, be sure to check the branches for rasped cords or cracked lamps.
- Don’t load the junction box with a lot of equipment. Ensure that all outdoor electronics are plugged into GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets for full protection.
- Always purchase non-flammable decorations. This can be confirmed from the item’s packaging.
- Always turn off and unplug all decorations when you are leaving the house or going to sleep.
Ensure Fire Safety
The sound made by a smoke detector could be the pivotal difference that leads to surviving. Every house needs a working smoke alarm in each bedroom and on every level, including the basement and attic.
- Avoid using candles if possible. Consider using battery-powered lamps. Make sure you have a few available in the event of a blackout.
- Mantels are beautiful when covered with socks and verdure. Don’t place any candles here, as these items are flammable.
- If you use your fireplace constantly, be sure to check the Christmas tree. If you are buying a live tree, make sure it gets plenty of water and is not near heat sources. If you are buying an artificial tree, make sure it is non-flammable.
- When cooking, pay close attention to your surroundings. Keep a fire extinguisher close by. Be sure you have a smoke detector at least 10 feet away from your stove, and test it at regular intervals.
- Educate yourself on kitchen safety. Be alert for fire. Never leave sources of heat unattended for long periods of time, especially outdoor grills.
Keep An Eye On Your Kids
Kids get excited, especially when they are in a new place or around new people. Many places may not be as childproof as your own home. You should be on alert for potentially dangerous foods or drinks. It’s important to have a first aid kit close by.
- Do not wait until after the party to clean up. Children or pets may have access to dangerous alcohol, food, or decorations before you do.
- Some plants are toxic to humans and pets. These plants include mistletoe, reefs, and holly berries. Keep children and pets far away from anything that can cause immediate harm.
- Those small button batteries found in toys and remotes are dangerous, so make sure children don’t swallow them.
- Do not leave children alone for extended periods of time, as they have not yet developed the proper problem-solving skills to survive on their own.
- Gifts should bring joy and not cause injuries. Avoid giving small gifts with small pieces to children under three, as these are choking hazards. When gifting toys, do remember to buy all the parts that come with them. For example, a bicycle should also come with a helmet, shin guards, gloves, and knee pads.
Be Mindful Of Social Media
Social media is a great way to share what you and your family are doing for the holiday season. Still, if you’re leaving your home for an extended period of time, it’s advisable that you don’t post anything on social media. You could be unintentionally inviting thieves to break into your house while you’re away. If you’re planning to travel during the holiday season, be sure to keep your travel plans off your social media networks.
- Do not post where you are going, when you are leaving, or when you will be back. This is sensitive information for a burglar because they will know when your house will be empty. Also, do not post your shopping plans online.
- Do not leave gifts out in clearly visible areas or in your car.
- Do not post your credit card details online, as this might lead to identity theft.
- Do not carry large amounts of cash on you. Review your bank statements frequently, and report any charges you don’t recognize to your bank.
Other Important Things To Consider
Invest in a good alarm system. This would cut down on attempted burglaries during the holiday period.
In the event of an emergency, keep out of the way of emergency responders so they can do what they have to do. Educate everyone in the house on emergency numbers and simple tips, such as staying low in the event of a fire because smoke is heavier on top. Having an insurance policy would also reduce any financial burden on you in the event of an accident.
The importance of safety cannot be overemphasized. The holidays are a fun time, but it’s best to take the necessary precautions so as not to start off the new year on the wrong foot.