The holiday season brings with it a lot of cheer as the year draws to a close. However, all that running around and a change in routine unfortunately opens up more opportunity for things to go wrong too. To avoid running into difficulty this holiday season, here are 5 safety tips for you and your family.
1. Be Careful About Social Drinking
The social drinking aspect of the Christmas holiday season is even more prevalent than with the rest of the year. It’s natural to celebrate with friends and family, but you should avoid overdoing it.
As well as the possibility of getting a DUI during the holiday season, you may cause an accident if you choose to get behind the wheel after a festive glass or two. According to the Pennsylvania based Trapani Law Firm, drunk driving accidents can cause horrific injuries such as spinal cord injuries, brain injuries and even amputation. It’s really not worth the risk!
When you’re traveling in a group, have a reliable designated driver who can be trusted not to drink. If, however, they let the side down, then pull out your smartphone and order an Uber. Don’t risk traveling with an inebriated family or friend, as you’ll be putting everyone in the vehicle at risk over the holidays.
2. Purchase New Christmas Tree Lights or Inspect the Old Ones
Getting out the twinkle lights to adorn the Christmas tree is a nice idea, but they must be untangled and checked out first. Look for any wires that have cracks or evident fraying around the edges.
Also, when using multiple sets of lights, don’t use a power strip to run more than two sets from a single strip or outlet, as this can overload your breaker or cause a fire. Don’t leave your Christmas lights turned on when you’re going out or overnight unattended either.
If you’re buying new ones, don’t go too cheap. Look for a reliable brand and check that you see a UL symbol indicating that they’re safe to use. Indoor lights are given a green color and outdoor lights are marked in a red color.
3. Pets and Christmas Decorations Don’t Mix Well
Common items during Christmas like mistletoe and holly are toxic if ingested by your dog or cat.
The tinsel might look safe hanging up, but if you own a cat, they’re capable of jumping up to pull the shiny tinsel down. Bear in mind that just one small strand of tinsel can be ingested and wrap around your cat’s intestines. This can cause major health issues for them later.
Also, treats for the kids like candy canes are best avoided. While there are dog-approved treats, the human equivalent represents a choking risk and may contain xylitol, which is poisonous to dogs.
4. Put Away the Candles
Candles can set the scene at night, but they are a real hazard with kids running around, or if they are near Christmas decorations or the Christmas tree.
As many as half of all decorations that catch fire are caused by the open flame of a candle. And as you can imagine, once a line of tinsel catches, the whole thing will quickly go up and spread rapidly elsewhere into the room. If you really want to include candles to complete your theme, go for the battery-operated alternatives.
These are a few tips to help you avoid the unfortunate accidents and injuries that often occur at Christmas time. Don’t disconnect completely from the need to be always vigilant. This is especially true over the holiday season when you have small kids or pets a home.