“Home” for the Holidays – Christmas Holiday Safety Tips

The holidays are upon us! This special time of year brings amazing home cooked meals, family travel and gatherings, decorations and lights, festivals and celebrations, and of course colder weather.

Along with this special time of year comes the need to be extra mindful of the “dos” and “don’ts” that can lead to accidents, injury and loss.  My involvement in insurance for more than 25 years has taught me some important lessons – here are just a few Christmas holiday safety tips:

DON’Ts

  • Leave obstructions, ice or snow in your driveway or along the walkways on your property.  Be sure outdoor decorations and power cords, stringers,  are tied down or elevated to avoid trip and fall hazards.
  • Combine dry materials like garland with flame like candles.  An old fashioned Christmas tree may be the look you are going for, but don’t do it in this fashion – a very bad idea.  You can achieve a very similar feel by using the new flame less electric or battery powered candles.
  • Overload your electrical outlets.  Best practice calls for no more than 3 strands of lights connected together.  Be sure to use lab tested lights, and discard all lights that are cracked, frayed, rusted, etc.  When possible, use power strip/surge protectors to help manage the electrical current.

DO’s

  • Test all of your smoke alarms to assure they are functioning correctly.  If you haven’t changed the batteries in your alarms, or can’t remember the last time you did – change them.
  • Assure all paper, towels, pot holders and other flammable materials are away from the stove.
  • Always stay attentive to what you are cooking and if young ones are running around, be mindful of their whereabouts in relation to the stove, stove top and other hot surfaces.
  • Water your live tree once every 3-4 days and be sure the lights you use on it are in good condition, and use a timer to automatically turn the lights on/off.

Enjoy making your house beautiful for the holidays, but don’t ignore the importance of prevention and awareness. Happy holidays! If you’re looking for more ways to prepare for the holidays with insurance, please feel free to contact me.