Last week, we talked about keeping your family and home safe from intruders during the holidays. This week we’re focusing on keeping your family and home safe when you’re inside. The holidays steal our attention, take us away from our normal routines, and fill our homes with guests. All of this invites the chance for accidents or other home dangers. We have the top five things you should be mindful of this holiday season to keep your family and your home safe.
- Decorations. The tree’s been trimmed and the lights outside could rival the Griswolds. Nothing can ruin the festive spirit faster than a tree toppling over onto a guest or an overloaded electrical outlet sparking, tripping the circuit, or actually starting a fire. Make sure your tree is secure in its stand and if you have children you should anchor the tree to the wall. Lights are beautiful but make sure you plug in only the appropriate number. You also want to make sure your lights are in good condition and you don’t use any strands that are frayed or with bulbs that are broken. Any lights you do use should be UL certified.
- Fireplaces. A crackling fire is a quintessential holiday scene. Whether you have a gas or a wood burning fireplace, make sure you keep the area clear of debris and children away from it. If you have a wood burning fireplace, make sure your chimney is cleaned and inspected annually. Do not burn anything but wood in your fireplace. It can seem like a quick clean up but throwing wrapping paper or other trash into a fire can cause a flareup and let off chemicals that you’d rather not be breathing in.
- Kitchens. You’re bound to be spending a lot of time in the kitchen baking sweet treats and cooking holiday meals. Make sure your appliances are in good working order and never leave a pot cooking on the stove top unattended. Keep an ABC rated fire extinguisher within easy reach in your kitchen; these extinguisher will be able to smother any type of fire you’d find in a home.
- Poisoning. Poisoning is one of the top reasons people are seen in the ER during the holiday times. Seasonal flowers such as poinsettias can pose a risk to children and animals; make sure the plants are out of reach and the fallen leaves are throw out immediately or use faux flowers. Alcohol poisoning is another concern when holiday cheer comes in the form of a drink. If you’re hosting a party, make sure your guests keep their imbibing in check and be mindful to keep alcoholic drinks away from curious children.
- Walkways. With all the extra decorations and gifts, you want to make sure you keep interior open areas free of debris, cords, and spills. Check your outside walkways to ensure your guests have a safe path to and from their cars. If the weather is cold enough to form ice, sprinkle salt on your walkways.
You’ll see that common sense and a bit of forethought will keep your home safe and inviting for your family and guests this holiday season.