With the holiday season in full swing, here are a few tips to help you keep the festivities safe for family and friends. While many of these tips may seem like a blinding flash of the obvious, year-after-year emergency responders across the nation are called to action for entirely avoidable circumstances. So please keep these in mind while celebrating this season.
Appoint a designated driver, get a taxi or simply stay put until you can drive safely. Alcohol is still one of the leading causes of traffic fatalities. It’s just not worth it. If you are hosting a holiday party, make sure to have plenty of non-alcoholic beverages available.
Buckle Up for Safety
This simple and effective safety measure is forgotten by many during the holidays. Whether you’re visiting family far away or just going down the street, take a moment before pulling out of the driveway to make sure everyone is ready for a safe journey.
Be Weather Ready
Winter travel requires additional preparation. Start with an inspection by a professional mechanic and address any issues before you hit the road. Have flares, blankets, a first-aid kit, flashlight, water, and snacks in your vehicle at all times. A shovel and a bag of kitty litter are especially helpful when you’re stuck in the snow.
Choose decorations made from flame-resistant or non-combustible materials. Always keep candles away from decorations and other combustible materials. Carefully inspect all lighting and repair or replace any damaged items before plugging them in. Make sure lights are mounted securely to avoid damaging the wire insulation. Confirm all outdoor lighting is certified for outdoor use and make sure all lighting is properly grounded. Never overload outlets or extension cords as is can lead to fire. And remember to turn off all electric decorations before leaving home or going to bed.
Fireplaces and Wood-Burning Stoves
Before using a fireplace or stove, test all smoke alarms and have fire extinguishers nearby. Keep the area around your fireplace or stove clear and double check that the flue is open before starting a fire. Always use a fireplace screen to catch burning embers. Never burn wrapping paper or a Christmas tree in your fireplace or stove. They burn more intensely and can get out of control quickly. Confirm your fire is fully extinguished before leaving the house or retiring for the evening.
If you choose to go with an artificial tree, make sure it’s labeled as fire resistant. Live trees should be fresh. Try pulling needles from the branches. If they break or come off easily, move on to the next tree. Ask the seller to cut a few inches off the bottom expose the fresh wood. This will help it to better absorb water. Keep your tree well hydrated. It will last longer and keep your risk of fire to a minimum. Mount your tree in a quality stand that won’t tip over. Place your tree away from fireplaces, radiators, portable heaters and doorways.
Prevent illness by thoroughly washing everything that comes in contact with raw meats. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the U.S. Always keep an eye on your stove and oven while in use.
Happy holidays from everyone at ModSpace. And may you have a happy, healthy and prosperous 2015.