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Christmas time is pure magic, and it's hard to argue with that. It keeps you uplifted in anticipation of family meetings, hearty dinners, and presents. That said, it's easy to get carried away with emotions and overlook some essential precautions.
At the threshold of this lovely time, we would like to remind you about ways to ensure home safety for the holidays. These would guarantee you a carefree and smooth weekend no matter what.
Both pedestrians and drivers must realize that winter weather is no joke. The car accident rate surges significantly, and the number of fatalities also. The National Weather Service Association outlines that the icy road fatality rate is 3.6 times higher than the total of other weather-related accidents.
Icy or slushy pavements are also risky. According to the US Bureau of Labour statistics, snow and sleet cause workplace fatalities more often than other unfavorable weather conditions.
Last but not least, eliminating fire hazards is also crucial for having safe and happy holidays. Malfunctioning indoor holiday lights account for half of the cases when a Christmas tree catches fire. And, of course, you should double your vigilance with open fire sources like a fireplace and candles.
To achieve top-notch Christmas safety, we advise you to start preparations at least two weeks before the holidays. Trust us: it's a good idea. Firstly, it allows you to find the weak spots and take care of them one by one without rushing. Secondly, it may take some time for DIY or professional repair to protect your loved ones from potential home safety hazards.
So get prepared in advance and pay attention to the next:
Open Fire Sources. To ensure safe and happy holidays, keep all flammables and combustibles away from any open fire source. Always have a water supply or a fire extinguisher nearby if you light up the wood-burning fireplace. Also, remember that the home smoke alarm system must be completely functional.
Electrical system and wiring. Wintertime is a stress test for home power supply systems. We keep a lot of devices plugged into electrical outlets, turn on electric fireplaces & radiators. Therefore, you should ask an electrician to examine the fuse box, wiring, and most overused outlets.
Icy and Snowy Roads. Don't test your luck when there's black ice on the street. Put on the appropriate footwear to move around safely. When at the wheel, don't rush and stay focused. It's crucial both for the sake of your passengers and other drivers.
Christmas Decorations Mounting. Holiday hustle and bustle is no excuse for neglecting work safety. So if you don't want to end up in the emergency room this Christmas, don't let anything distract you during the height work.
Frostbite. The chances of getting frostbite are high even if you're ice-skating outdoors. Not to mention the holiday vacation at the forest cabin or a family weekend in the great outdoors. So don't ignore early signs of it, like the feeling of tingling on your skin.
The tips suggested below will ensure home safety for the holidays. Additionally, you should note the safety practices we recommend for outdoor leisure activities.
To check whether Christmas lights are fire-safe, follow these simple rules:
Look over the wiring to see if there's frayed insulation or broken sockets.
Make a short test for about 15 minutes before hanging the lights outside or inside your home.
Don't link more than three holiday light sets in one chain to avoid overload.
To have safe and happy holidays with a family get-together next to a fireplace, make sure to:
Revise the inner part of the firebox for gaps or cracks.
Check the chimney to make sure that nothing blocks it.
Clear out ashes before loading fresh firewood.
During the actual wood burning:
Use a protective screen not to let children or pets get burned.
Always stockpile the firewood at least 3 feet away from the open fire, space heaters, and other heat sources.
Keep the fire extinguisher or bucket of water within reach.
Don't throw the wrapping paper into the fire. It can cause a flame flash.
Choose a well-watered tree with green and fresh needles (if you use the live one). Those are least likely to catch fire from faulty Christmas lights.
For robust home safety for the holidays, we also recommend you to:
Place the tree far from the room entrance or passages between furniture
Keep it at least 3 feet from candles, fireplaces, and heaters.
Anchor a big tree with additional guy wires to the ceiling and walls
Hang the fragile decorations near the top, so kids or pets won't knock them down.
Child-proofing a house is a must-do. For children's safety, keep everything harmful away from kids. Clear out the floors of small debris, and make sure that tots won't play with objects they can easily swallow or choke on: button batteries, LEGO parts, etc.
We've emphasized the importance of a first aid kit in our guide on family safety precautions. You'll manage health emergencies without waiting for paramedics to arrive if necessary medical supplies are in place.
Here's what we recommend you do to have a relaxed and safe Christmas vacation:
Switch to winter tires to fully control your ride on slushy or icy roads. Also, test the car battery voltage before the long trip. On top of that, make sure you follow the children's safety requirements each time they accompany you on a ride.
If you're new to skiing or snowboarding, ask your mates or instructor about the proper gear you should equip. Finding a sturdy and well-insulated sports outfit is also crucial to protect yourself from traumas and biting cold at the track.
It would be wise to keep the details and terms of your trip to yourselves before you return. In such a way, you won't encourage thieves to try to rob your house.
If a blizzard or ice storm is coming your way, don't take an unnecessary risk. Remember that five-day weather forecasts are 90% accurate. So check them out to adjust your plans accordingly.
These are unobtrusive but helpful mobile apps to track the whereabouts of your loved ones. In an emergency, a family member will immediately send you a request for aid with the exact location.
Nothing comforts us more this time of year than knowing that our loved ones are safe and happy. Thanks to the AllsWell Alert personal safety app, you'll be 100% sure about that.
The app provides the following features:
Consistent safety monitoring with the inactivity tracking feature
Panic button for manual SOS alerts
Instant notifications via SMS and email
Simple emergency contact management
May the love and peacefulness be with you all year round - Merry Christmas to all of you, and a Happy New Year! We invite you to join AllsWell's 30-day trial period for FREE. To get the app go to the AppStore and Google Play.