Securing a safe holiday season

Tips for you and your family

Holiday-Saftey-headThe food, the lights, the ornaments, the parties…the holidays can be a wonderful (if sometimes a bit stressful) time. They are also the time to keep safety top of mind—otherwise your holiday fun could come to a painful and expensive end. Here are some tips to keep safety top-of-mind this season.

treeThe tree

  • Real tree—Dispose properly afterward; No candles & keep away from heat sources
  • Fake trees should be fire resistant
  • Metallic tree—No electric lights (loose wires=electrocution)
  • Watch for sharp, breakable, or small ornaments within kids’ reach

The lightslights-2

  • Replace broken bulbs & those with exposed wires
  • Use no more than three strands per outlet
  • Check that they are "UL listed"
  • Unplug when leaving or going to bed
  • Outdoor lights:
    • Keep securely attached
    • Use protected outlets (e.g., ground fault, or GFI)
    • Plug in only outdoor-approved extension cords

fireplace-2The fireplace

  • Keep flue cleaned & clear of debris
  • Be sure trees, presents, and kids are at least 6’ away
  • Don’t burn wrapping paper (goes up quickly and intensely)
  • Be careful with colorizing “fire salts” they are toxic to kids and pets

The foodfood

  • Keep all eats at the right temperature (cold or hot)
  • Only keep foods at room temperature two hours or less
  • Keep hot foods/liquids away from the edge of counters, out of kids’ reach
  • If deep frying a turkey: do NOT overfill the pot (this video shows why), do NOT fry on a deck, and make sure it’s thawed (this video shows why).

giftsThe gifts

  • Check recall lists at Consumer Product Safety Division
  • Buy age appropriate gifts
  • Don't get plug-in electronic toys for kids under 10 years old, only battery operated ones

We hope these tips help you have a very merry and safe holiday season.

Mark Dye

About the author: Mark Dye

Mark Dye has been writing articles, recording podcasts, and putting together books on personal finance for nearly a decade. His work has been recognized by the American Bankers Association and the Institute for Financial Literacy, and received an 2011 APEX Grand Award for Writing. Follow Mark on Google+.

Contact: Mark Dye


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