If you love watching Clark Griswold deck the halls every year, well, you don’t need to hear it from us: your holiday happenings can be holly jolly or downright dangerous! This year, make sure your festivities don’t involve and accident – or a lawsuit! Some of the most seemingly innocent activities or decorations can actually result in serious legal consequences, so keep a level head, even when sugar plums are dancing in it. Here’s how you can stay safe while decorating and celebrating the holiday season this year.
Be smart about installing decorations
Everyone loves a well-decorated holiday home. But when you mix tangled electrical cords with ladders and ornaments made from glass and other breakable materials, you could have a recipe for disaster if you’re not careful. If you’re stringing lights this year, carefully examine each strand to make sure all the lights are in good working order. Dispose of any strings that are frayed or damaged. Before you attempt to hang the lights, make sure your ladder is stable and wear proper footwear. Never leave the ladder unattended – especially if there are children around. Avoid outdoor decorating when ice or snow is present, and be smart about attempting to install decorations on the roof. When you’re shopping for new lights, opt for LEDs. These not only have a longer life, but they also meet a higher safety standard than other lights.
Be good stewards of decorations
Once your halls are decked, you might think the most dangerous phase of holiday décor has passed. Not quite. Any decoration can pose a threat to you and your family (not to mention your neighbors and visitors) if you’re not careful. Unplug Christmas tree lights any time you leave your home – even if you’ll be returning quickly. If you love a good holiday scented candle, enjoy them! But never leave a candle unattended – and keep them far from the Christmas tree, stockings or other greenery even when you’re home. If you hang up those Christmas cards to admire all season long, do so somewhere far away from heat sources like fireplaces and radiators. If you happen to lose a light on your Christmas tree or another decoration, find it and throw it out; these can pose a choking risk to small children.
Let’s be honest, during the holidays, most of us aren’t exactly watching what we eat. But to keep you and your family safe, you should absolutely be watching how you cook it. Allow plenty of time to prepare and cook your holiday meals. Rushing not only makes for a terrible turkey, but it can also cause you injury – from chopping veggies too fast or splashing boiling water on yourself or a child. Keep kids out of the kitchen when you’re bustling over holiday dinners, and keep little hands from hot surfaces like the oven or stovetop. Keep a pair of scissors around to open food packages, as doing so with a kitchen knife can result in a serious injury. Make sure all your foods are prepared sanitarily and cooked thoroughly to eliminate food-borne illnesses (no one wants to spend the holidays stuck in the bathroom).
There’s nothing like the eyes of a child who’s received a new toy during the holidays. If you’re shopping, make sure you choose toys from reputable manufacturers and pay attention to any safety recalls. Sources of used goods like eBay or Craig’s List can be great for your budget, but there’s no guarantee the item hasn’t been recalled at some point. Do you research before purchasing and ensure the item is in good working order before you give it to a child.
Holiday wrappings, decorations and cold-weather accessories can make for a pretty cluttered home. That’s why trip and fall accidents aren’t too uncommon during the holiday season. Keep your walkways and living areas clean and clear to help prevent injury.
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