The holidays are a time to enjoy our favorite traditions, to celebrate, and to make new memories with family and friends. Here are some tips to help ensure a happy and safe holiday season for you and your family.

Decorate Safely

It’s fun to pull out our holiday decorations and decorating is a great way to put us in a holiday mood. Unfortunately emergency rooms see thousands of injuries every year involving holiday decorating, many of them from falls.  When doing your decorating keep in mind the following tips:

  • Never use furniture as a ladder. 
  • Use the right kind of ladder for the job, and always keep three points of contact on the ladder: two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand.
  • If using an artificial tree, make sure that it’s rated “fire resistant.”
  • If using a live tree, cut about 2 inches off the bottom to expose fresh wood which will improve water absorption. Remember to water it every day!
  • Keep breakable ornaments, or ones with small detachable parts, out of reach from small children.
  • Mistletoe & holly berries are poisonous and can be dangerous for children. Keep them away from children or opt for the artificial kind.
  • Use indoor lights for indoors and outdoor lights outdoors.
  • Inspect your lights for broken sockets, loose connections, & frayed wires. If those are found, it’s time to toss the old ones and spring for new lights.
  • Don’t overload outlets with too many electrical devices as this can cause an electrical fire.

Be Aware of Fire Risk

You may love the ambience of a cozy fire and flickering candles at this time of year but the increased use of fireplaces and candles around the holidays means an increased risk for fire. Here are some things to keep in mind.

  • Place candles where they can’t be knocked down or blown over and, of course, out of the reach of children.
  • Keep matches and lighters where children can’t reach them.
  • Use flameless candles near flammable objects and keep lighted candles at least three feet away from anything flammable.
  • Don’t burn trees, wreaths, or wrapping paper in the fireplace.
  • Use a screen at all times when a fire is burning. 
  • Never leave candles or fireplaces burning unattended.
  • Always have a fire extinguisher handy and know how to use it.

Cooking & Dining Safety

No holiday celebration would be complete without a feast, but be sure to take the proper precautions. 

  • Keep children and flammable items such as grocery bags & towels away from the stove and oven. 
  • Don’t leave stove burners or the oven unattended.
  • Wash your hands frequently when handling food, especially meat.
  • Keep prepared foods away from raw meat.
  • Use a food thermometer to make sure meat is cooked to a safe temperature. 
  • If you’re deep frying a turkey, keep the fryer well away from structures & vegetation, and follow your fryer’s manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Refrigerate leftover food within two hours of serving. 
  • Ditch the leftovers after four days.

With a little bit of forethought and the proper precautions, this holiday season can be an enjoyable and safe one.

Happy Holidays from the Donnelly Group!