Who can forget National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, when the bumbling Clark Griswold ignites a fire with the overloaded wiring of his Christmas lights…
The moral of that story?
Don’t let that be you! The holidays are a time for celebration and merry cheer – don’t let bad wiring or other preventable conditions spoil a perfectly good holiday. Read our safety tips below to make sure your holidays are spent doing what’s most important — being with family and friends.
1. Wash your hands often.
According to the CDC, “Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others.” The winter is notoriously flu-prone, so keep those paws clean and wash them as often as possible.
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2. If using a real Christmas tree, water it frequently.
The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) states, “The risk of fire is higher with natural trees than artificial ones. Researchers found that dry natural trees burned easily but trees that had been kept moist are unlikely to catch fire unintentionally.” So if using a real tree, make sure you’re keeping it hydrated!
3. Avoid overloading electrical outlets with too many decorations or electrical devices.
“Overloaded outlets can overheat and cause a fire,” according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International. “Also, be sure to unplug electrical decorations before changing bulbs or fuses, and turn off all electrical decorations before leaving or going to sleep.”
4. Use the “buddy system” when hanging decorations.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that more than 15,000 holiday decorating injuries occurred during November and December of 2013 – a 3,000 increase from the previous year. To avoid injury when hanging decorations that require the use of a ladder, have someone hold the ladder’s base while you are hanging. Also be sure the ladder is on flat, level ground and never use the top two rungs of the ladder as this makes the ladder more prone to tipping.
5. Manage your stress!
Unfortunately, the joyous season can also bring higher levels of stress due to the laundry list of things to do for the holidays, such as going to parties, preparing for guests, cooking, cleaning, and, shopping for our loved ones. The Mayo Clinic recommends:
1. Acknowledging your feelings.
2. Being realistic about holiday expectations.
3. Setting aside temporary differences.
4. Planning ahead to avoid unwanted peaks in stress levels.
5. Exercising, as it naturally increases serotonin levels in your body.
The holiday season is a time for worry-free enjoyment with loved ones, creating happy memories to last a lifetime. Following this safety advice will help ensure those memories are of sleigh bells and cheer, not ambulance sirens and burnt hair!