Holiday time is here again! Most of us look forward to the holiday season as a time to relax, enjoy time with friends and family and to indulge in delicious meals and treats. Unfortunately, December is also a month in which hazards to safety increase significantly. Here’s a few simple reminders to help keep you and your loved ones safe during this festive time of year.
Unexpected Kitchen Dangers
Many families really up the ante on baking, broiling, cooking and frying during the holidays. While enjoying delicious home-cooked meals with the people we love is part of what makes the holidays special, it’s important to keep in mind that increased use of the stove and other kitchen appliances also increases the chances of fires occurring. In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is the leading cause of residential fires in the U.S! To avoid danger, be sure to never leave anything that’s cooking unattended!
Household Fire Hazards
The kitchen is not the only place where fires are a threat. Take a look at these additional dangers that come along with the fun of the holiday season.
- Fireplace: If you have a fireplace, be sure to thoroughly scrub the chimney before lighting up the first toasty fire of the year. Buildup that’s not cleaned away is a major cause of chimney fires. (And you don’t want to scare Santa off, either!)
- Christmas trees: No one wants to see their beautifully decorated holiday tree turn in to a dangerous blaze! Be careful not to overextend the outlet by plugging in too many lights. Also, keep your tree heavily watered to reduce the chance of it transforming in to kindling.
- Space heaters: These are particularly dangerous and often overlooked! The National Fire Protection Association reports that space heaters, whether portable or stationary, accounted for two of every five (40%) home heating fires and four out of five (84%) home heating fire deaths. To keep your home safe, be sure to keep space heaters on level surfaces, avoid placing them on carpet, and never place them near curtains, upholstery, paper, or anything flammable. Also, you should never leave a space heater unattended!
- Candles: Festive candles are a great way to add warmth to any holiday occasion (especially the ones that smell like pine or cinnamon spice)! To keep them from becoming hazards, place them far away from curtains and any other flammable objects. And never leave them near children or pets or leave a room with candles unattended!
- Christmas lights: Don’t overload your outlets (we can’t stress this enough!) and throw away any light strands that are damaged or have wires showing through.
It’s an unfortunate fact that this time of year leads to terrible traffic. Highways and local roads will inevitably be jam-packed with holiday travelers, many of whom are unfamiliar with their surroundings and are therefore distracted. Also, the rates of drunk driving increases significantly during the holidays, especially at night. So, be sure to stay hyper-vigilant while driving, drive defensively and give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going so you don’t feel the urge to speed. Also, this time of year can be a bit stressful and busy, so be aware of whether you’re too tired to be on the road.
Follow these tips for holiday safety, and enjoy a wonderful season (without having to file an insurance claim)! Happy holidays to you and yours from the team at DSI!