The holiday season is a time of tradition, celebration, and family gatherings. While enjoying the holidays with family and friends, please keep safety at the top of your mind in everything you do.
Due to colder weather, more holiday cooking in the kitchen, and additional holiday lighting decorations, statistics show that the incidence of home fires and electrical accidents also typically increases during the winter holidays.
Below are some safety tips and reminders to help you and your loved ones stay safe during this holiday season.
Cooking in the Kitchen
*Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries. And cooking fires increase during the festive holiday season.
*Stay in the kitchen when something is cooking. Unattended cooking equipment is the leading cause of home cooking fires.
*Keep all countertop appliances and their cords away from the sink and stovetop. And unplug all countertop appliances after use.
*NEVER use your oven to heat your house.
Decorations & Electrical Outlets
*Inspect electrical decorations for damage before use. Cracked or damaged sockets, loose or bare wires, and loose connections may cause a shock or start a fire.
*Do not overload electrical outlets. Overloaded outlets and faulty wires are common causes of holiday fires.
*Check decorations for certification labels. Decorations without certification from an independent testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories, could be hazardous.
*Turn off, unplug, and extinguish all decorations when going to sleep or leaving the house. Unattended candles are the cause of 1 in 5 home candle fires.
Stay Warm Inside your Home
*During colder months, an increase in home fires are attributed to space heaters, heating pads, and electric blankets. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for using them safely.
*If using a heating pad or electric blanket, do not place anything on top of them and don't leave them on while unattended or while sleeping.
*Never leave a space heater unattended. Turn it off when you're leaving a room or going to sleep.
*The colder months also hold the highest risk for carbon monoxide poisoning deaths.
Holiday Shopping Tips
*Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member.
*Stay alert to your surroundings.
*Be extra careful with your wallet or handbag. These items are the prime targets of criminals in crowded shopping areas.
*Avoid overloading yourself with packages.
*Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. During the holiday time of year, con artists may try various methods to distract you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.
*Avoid going near or driving over any downed power lines. Assume any downed power line is live. Call your electric provider and local authorities immediately.
*During a storm-related power outage, homeowners often use portable generators. Generators should ONLY be operated outside where proper ventilation is available. Fifty percent of all portable generator-related carbon monoxide deaths occur during the cold winter months.
And finally, with all the traditional holiday meals, festive candles and the possibility of new toys for the children, the hazard of choking greatly increases. Brush up on (or learn) the Heimlich maneuver and be prepared to save a life at the onset of someone choking.
A proactive approach to safety will help you give the
gift of safety to your family and friends this holiday season!