The holidays are favorite times of the year for many of us. There is an abundance of food and time away from the office, often spent with family and friends. Make sure your events are enjoyable and safe this season, even though things may look different due to the pandemic. Here are some tips for safety during the holidays.
Fire Safety During the Holidays
You want the house to be comfortable and warm. If you choose to use space heaters, do so safely. Make sure the heater is on a flat and level surface and at least 3 feet away from flammable materials.
When using your fireplace, clean the firebox thoroughly and open the damper completely. Use well-seasoned hardwood as fuel. Don’t burn gift wrap, cardboard boxes, or other trash. As with any heat source, keep curtains, furniture, holiday decorations, and rugs away from the fire.
Food Preparation Tips for Safety
If you’re making a holiday feast, make a plan for safety in the kitchen. If your family is helping out, give each person their own workstation. Other family members can be assigned to babysit children and pets elsewhere in the house. This will help prevent spills and chaotic traffic in the kitchen.
Keep the handles of pots and pans turned inward, so no one knocks a pot of boiling water off the stove. Clean up any spills immediately. Remind your kitchen helpers to wash their hands frequently and keep long hair and apron strings tied safely back.
Take Care of Snow and Ice
Whether you’re celebrating on your own or having guests for the holiday, keep walkways clear of snow and ice. Before the temperatures drop, make sure you have a sturdy snow shovel and a few bags of ice-melt on hand. Icy paths and steps are difficult to navigate safely.
Tips for Safety with Pets During the Holidays
If you’re traveling with your cat or dog, make sure to use a pet carrier or a harness and seat belt. A scared or restless pet can be distracting to the driver and can make the journey less safe.
Holiday foods will be tempting for your dog or cat. Keep dinner and dessert plates out of reach of animals. Chocolate, dairy products, garlic, caffeine, onions, and raisins are some of the foods that can cause problems for pets. Pumpkin, apples, peas, carrots, winter squash, and spinach are fine for most pets.
Have Safe Travel Plans
If you’re traveling this holiday season, make sure you’re well-prepared to travel safely. Plan your route and check for road closures due to accidents or snow and ice. Wear a mask when you’re not in the car and remember to wash your hands at all stops. Let your family know when you expect to arrive and make sure to communicate any changes in plans.
Assemble a road-trip safety kit for your car. Include jumper cables, first-aid supplies, flashlights, non-perishable snacks, hand sanitizer, and a warm blanket or two, in case of an emergency.