Holiday Season Safety Tips

For many, the holiday season is a celebratory time of year, but it could also be very hectic with everything you need to. Between hanging lights around your home to making a large family feast to driving across the state to visit family, all could potentially lead to some dangerous oversight. Here are some quick tips to prepare you for a safe and happy holiday season.

Safe Decorating

Decorating your home, yard or workplace is a great and fun way to get into the holiday spirit. However, doing so without safety in mind could result in an un-festive and stressful holiday season. Review these quick safety decorating tips before getting started:

  • Carefully inspect all decorations when taking them out of storage. Check glass ornaments for cracks and check electrical decorations for frayed wires or loose connections.
  • If you have a Christmas tree, ensure that your tree is placed away from any heat sources such as space heaters and fireplaces, and if it is a live tree be sure it has plenty of water to prevent drying out and becoming more of a fire hazard.
  • When putting up lights outside your home make sure your ladder is in good condition and is placed on a secure and level surface before climbing. Use a tool belt or backpack to prevent climbing the ladder with your hands full.
  • Use clips versus nails to hang your lights to prevent damage to the wiring.
  • Use proper electrical protection such as ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs), and weather-proof connections to keep water away. GFCIs will shut down the circuit if there is ground fault caused by a short.
  • Prevent trips and falls by placing cords in low traffic areas and taping them down.
  • Turn off all lights, decorations, and candles before leaving the house or going to bed.

Food Safety

Enjoying a delicious holiday feast with family and friends is one of the greatest highlights of the holiday season. But preparing large family meals can be challenging and requires an understanding of food safety. Here are some food handling tips that can help:

  • Before prepping, cooking or serving food, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Avoid cross-contaminating fresh food with raw meats and poultry by using different cutting boards and serving utensils.
  • Never leave the stove unattended, even for a few minutes—and turn off burners if you leave the kitchen.
  • Use a thermometer to check that all foods have been cooked to proper temperatures.
  • Make sure to properly store away leftovers; don’t leave cooked food out for longer than 2 hours. Leftovers are safe for 3-4 days if refrigerated properly.
  • Check with your guests for any food allergies and dietary restrictions.

Driving Safely

Whether you are driving out of state to visit family or driving downtown to meet friends to celebrate the holidays, be prepared for your trip and take extra precaution during the holiday season.

  • Check your car tires and top off fluids to make sure your vehicle is ready for colder weather.
  • Plan your route and review your local weather updates before getting on the road.
  • Be prepared for emergencies and keep a safety bag in your car. Consider including items such as: flashlight, water, first aid kit, blankets, gloves or hats, phone charger, and snacks.
  • Stay alert and drive defensively during the holidays and increase the spacing between you and the car in front of you. There may be an increased number of drowsy drivers, tipsy drivers, and/or drivers from out of town who don’t know your local roads well.
  • Don’t Drink and Drive! With so many options for ride shares, public transportation, and taxis these days there is no reason to risk harming you or others on the road.

Enjoy a safe and healthy holiday season!

Apex Associated Press (Apex AP) represents contributions from various authors within the Apex professional community.

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