The holiday season is a fun and exciting time for most, but with added activities, household décor and events- there is also a higher risk of emergencies. Do you increase your emergency planning in relation to the increase in your schedule during the holidays?
When I was younger, I didn’t really think much about the increased risk of cars on the road, alcohol being served, weather affecting road and sidewalk conditions or electric cords running in and out of houses and apartments. But as I’ve gotten older, and taken on more decorating, gift buying and hosting responsibilities, I’ve started to realize the heightened risk. So during the holiday season, our team here at Smart911 has put together some holiday safety tips- to remind you to celebrate safely, and to plan ahead.
Beating the Burglars: According to the FBI, nearly 400,000 burglaries take place in the U.S. during the holiday season annually. Make sure windows and doors are locked, even if you’re leaving your residence for a brief period. Avoid having large displays of gifts that can be seen through windows or doors. In general, the more “normally lived in” a residence appears the less likely it is to become a target of burglars, so keep a radio or television on. If you’re traveling, be sure to have someone collect your mail, consider an automatic timer for your lights, stop newspaper delivery, make sure someone shovels snow and keep a vehicle in the driveway if possible.
Tree Tips: Fresh trees not only stay green longer, they are less of a fire hazard. To select a fresh one, remember that needles should be hard to pull from branches and should bend, not break. Also, inspect the base of the trunk to make sure it is sticky with resin and then bounce it off the ground. If there’s a shower of falling needles, it’s too dry. In your residence, keep the tree away from fireplaces and other heat sources. If it is a large tree, consider using wire to further secure it to a wall or ceiling. Position it away from foot traffic and doorways. Finally, before setting it in a sturdy, wide stand that always contains water, cut off about two inches from the trunk to increase water absorption and slow drying.
Getting Lights Right: Make sure every set of lights – indoor or outdoor, new or old – have been inspected for damaged sockets, frayed or bare wires and faulty connections. A single extension cord should have no more than three standard-size light sets. Whenever leaving your residence or going to bed, be sure all lights have been shut off. Also, electric lights should never be used on a metallic tree; a faulty one can actually electrocute a person that simply touches a branch.
Outdoor Decor: Cold, wet weather means slippery conditions, whether it’s a walkway or a rooftop. So, when decorating outdoors, make sure your ladder is on solid ground, always secure, and be sure to have someone on-hand as a “spotter.”pected for ing. damaged sockets, frayed or bare wires and faulty connections. A single extension cord should have no more than three standard-size light sets. Whenever leaving your residence or going to bed, be sure all lights have been shut off. Also, electric lights should never be used on a metallic tree; a faulty one can actually electrocute a person that simply touches a branch.
Fire Prevention: Cooking is the #1 cause of home fires and related injuries, so have an extinguisher close by. An extra-busy kitchen means an increased risk of burns and knife injuries, so keep additional people away to avoid confusion and accidents. Burning candles may add ambiance but they can also be dangerous – never leave these unattended or in the care of a child. Additionally, candles and holiday lighting increase the risk of fire, so be sure to check and make sure all smoke detectors are in working order.
Drinking Responsibly: Alcohol-related accidents and deaths are particularly high during the holiday season. If you’re hosting, remember that you are responsible, so keep a close eye on your guests, their consumption, offer plenty of non-alcoholic alternatives and do not let anyone drive impaired. Also, be certain your guests have chosen a designated driver in advance, and, that you do the same if you are attending a get-together.
Of course, you should always keep your Smart911 Safety Profile update, just in case. Don’t have a profile, create one at www.smart911.com to give 9-1-1 the information they need to help you prior to an emergency.
And while you’re at it, give the easiest gift this season, and its free too…tell your family and friends about Smart911 so they too can be better prepared this holiday season.