Safety First – Prepare and Stay Aware! Holiday safety tips, with Max! During the holidays at this busy time of year, we need to take extra care on the road and at home during this most active time of year.
With the holidays upon us, it is important that we can enjoy every egg-nog filled moment with no doubts that our families and homes are safe. How can we do this while decorating, shopping, wrapping presents and eating more food than any one person should? The tips below will give you the opportunity to stay safe while conquering your holiday duties.
Protect your home
-Do not post any travel plans online
- Posting your travel plans on your social media sites can be dangerous if they are seen by the wrong person. Even with advanced privacy settings, you should never post any personal information online. Knowing that your home is empty makes it a possible target for thieves.
– Tell a neighbor when you will be out of town
- Let a trusted neighbor know if you will be leaving town for the holidays. Your neighbor can keep an eye on your home while you are away and give you peace of mind while you are traveling.
– Hide any gifts that might be visible from windows and doors
- Although they are pretty and a staple of holiday décor, do not leave presents in a location where they might be seen by someone looking in from the outside. Being able to see gifts might give a burglar incentive to break into your home.
– Examine any decorative lighting
- According to the U.S. Fire Administration, December is the deadliest month for electrical fires. Examining strands of decorative lights before putting them around your home or on a Christmas tree is crucial. Be on the lookout for frayed cords and cracked bulbs. If you do have strands with frayed wires, throw them away. If the bulbs are cracked, you can replace them. If you leave your home, make sure to unplug and turn off any lighting to prevent fires from starting while you are out.
– Have your furnace and chimney inspected
- Many of us will endure cold weather over the next few months, set aside time for a professional to come to your home and inspect your furnace and chimney before you start using them for heat. Having these inspections done can prevent a house fire and save lives.
Protect your well-being
– Holiday Electric and Fire Safety Tips
- Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious. A heat source too close to the tree causes one in every four Christmas tree fires. The top three days for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Christmas Eve. Candles start two out of five home decoration structure fires. Source: National Fire Protection Association. Downloadable Winter Fire Safety Sheet
– Wash your hands
- Dodge illness and germs by keeping your hands clean
- The holiday season can be stressful. Be sure to keep a work-life balance and have a positive attitude. Don’t overcommit; it is OK to say ‘no’ to some holiday gatherings and stay mindful of your spending by balancing your bank accounts and credit cards. Lastly, don’t miss out on zzzzzzz’s and get enough sleep!
- In frigid weather its vital to stay warm and dry, especially for infants, the elderly, and pets! The CDC recommends dressing in several layers of loose-fitting, tightly woven clothing.
– Handle food with care
- Wash your hands and eating surfaces regularly. You can elude cross-contamination by keeping raw meat, eggs, and poultry away from cooked, ready-to-serve foods and off of surfaces where you and your guests will be eating. Be sure to cook foods to the recommended temperature and to refrigerate any left-over, perishable food within two hours.
- All of the extra food and sweets can take a toll on our bodies, so be sure to stay active. Keep moving by going for a walk after eating a large meal, dancing to some of your favorite holiday music or squeezing in a quick at-home work-out sesh before you head to the party.
- Don’t let holiday decorating lead to broken bones! Use a step- stool while decorating places that you can’t reach. Do not stand on chairs or furniture that are not made for standing. Fireworks are mesmerizing… but leave the lighting of explosives to the professionals to prevent house fires or accidental injuries to yourself and spectators.
-Holiday Driving Safety Tips
- Don’t drink and drive! Have a designated driver plan in place or use ride-sharing services such as Uber or Lyft while traveling if you are drinking alcohol. While in vehicles, always use a seatbelt and make sure children are properly secured in a car seat, booster seat or seat belt according to their height, weight, and age. Finally, put your cell phone away! Distracted driving causes one-quarter of all crashes.
- Driving for the holiday? What you need to know before you go! Checklist by CNN Travel
Protecting yourself while shopping
- Stay Alert
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times both inside and outside of shopping centers. Try to stay off of your cell phone as this is an indicator for someone who is hoping you are engaged more with what is happening on your phone.
- Park in areas that are well lit
- Darkness can act as a security blanket for burglars and predators. Park your vehicle in a well-lit area, and, if possible, shop and walk in a group rather than by yourself.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash
- Pay with a check or credit card when possible. While paying at a register, do not draw unwanted attention to yourself by pulling out a large amount of cash. You never know who might be watching.
- Deter purse-snatchers and pickpockets
- Carry your purse close to your body, and, if possible, keep it closed. Do not carry your purse by dangling the straps over your shoulder as this can make it easier for a thief to run by you and steal it right off your arm. If you use a wallet, put it in a coat pocket or carry it in the front pocket of your pants. Putting a wallet in your back pocket could make it easier for a pickpocket to steal it.
- Ensure your kids know what to do if you get separated
- If you are shopping with your children, make sure they know what to do if they get separated from you. Children can be easily distracted by all of the decorations, lights, toys, and crowds. Teach them to find an employee of the store or a security guard if they are unable to find you.
Don’t pass up any opportunities to better protect yourself, family and friends over the holidays. Enjoy the most wonderful time of the year and stay safe!
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