Home Safety Tips for the Holidays

Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - 2:05pm
home safety during the holidays

Holiday Home Safety - Part 2

Last month we talked about keeping your home secure from intrusion, burglary, and theft during the holiday season. This month, we’re going to discuss around-the-house safety tips to make sure that your holiday is a happy and accident-free season.

1: Fire Safety

christmas safety tree with lights and a fireplaceBecause of additional lighting, plants, and other decorations, you’ll want to pay special attention to the fire hazards that are unique to the Winter holiday season. Both the National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Fire Administration admonish people to be extra careful during the holidays and offer the following instructions:

  • Live trees and other holiday plants can dry out quickly. Keep all plants properly hydrated and away from open flames and other heat sources. Make sure that any artificial trees are fire retardant.
     
  • Check your holiday lights each year for exposed or damaged wires and cracked bulbs. Replace any that show signs of wear.
     
  • Candles are a beautiful accent and used often during the holidays. Use with caution and keep them away from any flammable decorations.
     
  • Use the appropriate extension cord for the job. Any outdoor lighting should use an outdoor rated extension cord. Make sure to check the extension cords each year before use for wear or damage and replace as needed.
     
  • Extinguish all candles and unplug Christmas lights when you leave the house or go to bed.
     

2: Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls

An estimated 5,800 people will end up in the emergency room as a result of injuries sustained from falls associated with putting up holiday decorations and lighting. Take the following precautions to make sure your holiday season doesn't include a trip to (or extended stay at) the hospital:

  • When using a ladder or step stool for hanging holiday decorations, make sure it is of the appropriate height for the job, always put it on level ground, and have a second person with you to act as a "spotter".
     
  • Make sure all cords (extension or otherwise) are out of walkways. The elderly and very young are especially prone to falling, so ensure your walking areas are free from tripping hazards to preventing these types of injuries.
     

3: Automobile Accidents

The holiday season is one of the busiest travel periods of the year which – like any major holiday – means there is going to be a higher possibility of getting into an accident. Here are a few reminders on how to make sure you get to your destination safely:

  • First on the list: don’t drink and drive. Plain and simple. 32% of all traffic fatalities involve alcohol. If you do drink, make sure you have a designated driver, call a cab, or spend the night where you are.  And be aware that other drivers may be driving while under the influence, so always drive defensively.
  • Make sure your car is in good working order. We have a blog post on keeping your car safe for your family, which will help prevent any breakdowns or mechanical issues that can contribute to an accident on the highway.
     
  • Consider the weather. Increased traffic combined with snow, ice, and rain will create even more dangerous driving conditions. Slow down and take your time. It’s better to get to the party late than not at all.
     
  • Finally, wear your seatbelt, put your phone away, and eliminate as many other in-car distractions as you can.

4: Child Safety

baby with small christmas toyWhile the holidays are a magical time for our children, we sometimes forget the hazards associated with the season. Here are just a few reminders to make sure your children (and fur babies!) enjoy the holidays without any problems:

  • Keep poisonous plants out of reach. Poinsettias, mistletoe, and holly are all favorites this time of year, but they are all poisonous. Make sure they are kept off the floor and out of reach of curious kids and pets.
     
  • Bubble christmas lights have become a popular decorating item during the holidays. However, they contain methylene chloride, which is poisonous. If broken and ingested, this liquid could make a child or pet seriously ill.
     
  • Many households include alcoholic drinks as part of the holiday celebrations. Be aware that the amount of alcohol to make a small child seriously ill is considerably less than an adult. Monitoring your drinks when children are around is advisable.
     
  • Many holiday decorations and toys for older children can present choking hazards for smaller children. And traditional holiday foods such as nuts and popcorn can also be a choking hazard for smaller children.
     
  • Hang breakable Christmas ornaments or those with fish hook hangers higher on the tree. Opt for child-friendly ornaments that are within small hands’ reach.
     

AIP Insure Can Help When Needed

These tips help ensure your home and everyone in it stays safe while you enjoy the holidays. However, should anything happen, American Insurance Partners is always there to help.

Feel free to email or call me at 405.708.6645 if you have any questions about your home or auto policies or if you want to make sure your policies are up to date. We’re more than happy to go over your coverage with you.

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