From decorations to roasted turkey, holiday hazards lurk among some of our favorite traditions. In this article, we’re sharing tips for celebrating the holidays safely with every member of your household, from pets to elder relatives.
Decorating for the holidays is a great way to add some light and seasonal fun to your home, but it’s important to take precautions. Thousands of injuries related to holiday decorating send Americans to the emergency room each year; in fact, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that there are approximately 200 holiday decorating related injuries each day during the holiday season.
Here are some holiday decorating safety tips:
- Make sure your tree does not block doorways.
- Breakable ornaments and items with small detachable pieces should be placed out of reach of children.
- Only use lights marked for indoor use inside your home. Outdoor lights should only be used outdoors.
- If your lights have broken or cracked sockets, frayed wires, bare wires, or any loose connections, replace them.
- Do not nail or tack wiring when hanging lights. Any outdoor plugs should be kept away from puddles and snow.
- Potentially poisonous plants, such as mistletoe, holly berries, amaryllis, and Jerusalem cherry, should be kept away from children and pets. Some plants are toxic to cats and dogs, so do some research before bringing a plant into your home.
- All lights and decorations should be turned off when you leave the house or go to bed.
Preventing Holiday Home Fires
If you’re using an artificial tree, make sure that it is labeled “fire resistant.” If you prefer a live tree, make sure to water it regularly and remove it from your home when it is dry. Your tree should be placed at least three feet away from heat sources such as fireplaces and radiators.
Candles can add a festive glow to your home, but it’s important to make sure that they are placed in an area where they cannot be knocked down or blown over. If you have children and/or pets in your home, exercise particular care when decorating with candles. You may want to consider flameless candles as an alternative. Matches and lighters should be kept out of reach of kids.
Do not burn wrapping paper, trees, or wreaths in your fireplace. Always keep a screen on the fireplace while the fire is burning. Do not leave candles or fireplaces burning unattended. Check and clean your chimney and fireplace before lighting the first fire of the season.
Don’t Forget About Food Safety
When you’re rushing around to prepare holiday meals, it can be easy to get distracted. Be sure to wash your hands often while preparing and handling food, and always keep raw meat away from fresh produce. Use a food thermometer to ensure that meat is cooked to a safe temperature. Use separate kitchen tools for uncooked and cooked meats to avoid cross-contaminating surfaces.
We wish you a joyful and safe holiday season!
If you or a loved one has been injured, contact the Schuerman Law office today. Schuerman Law has been working with personal injury claims for over 40 years. John Schuerman will compassionately advocate for injured individuals as well as their families while fighting for full compensation of their claims. Schuerman Law offers evening and weekend appointments in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.