The holidays are supposed to be a time to unwind and reconnect with family and friends.  Unfortunately, several seasonal safety hazards can put a damper on the festivities.  Not only is it more dangerous to drive during the holidays, but the decor in our homes can potentially harm us, too. 

Holiday accidents are preventable if everyone practices mindfulness.  Here are some tips to keep in mind to keep yourself and your family safe during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s celebrations.


Be a Responsible Driver.

Be extra careful if you’re planning to drive during the holidays.  Not only are there more vehicles on the road, but drunk drivers are also rampant.  While you can’t control how others behave on the road, you can keep yourself safe by being an attentive and defensive driver.  Here are some ways you can prevent fatal road accidents:

  • Never get behind the wheel if you’re intoxicated.  Prevent family and friends from driving if they’re under the influence. The best strategy is to have a designated driver who will commit to being sober for the night.
  • Get plenty of rest before setting out on the road.  Never drive if you’re drowsy.
  • Keep your eyes on the road, and avoid any distractions.  Never sneak a peek at your phone, even if it’s just for a few seconds.  Fatal crashes can happen in the blink of an eye.
  • Slow down and leave a gap between yourself and the vehicle in front of you. That way, you’ll have time to react if the driver does something unpredictable.
  • Always wear your seatbelt.  It’s your first line of defense against reckless or drunk drivers.
  • Plan your route and check your vehicle for any maintenance issues before leaving the house.  Stow an emergency kit in your car in case your car breaks down or you’re involved in some other emergency. 


Be Wary of Fire Hazards.

House fires are a real threat during the holidays.  There are more house fires during this season because more people use fireplaces and candles to keep warm.  In addition, we adorn our houses with combustible decorations. 

According to the National Fire Protection Association, house fires usually start because people place decorations too close to heat sources.  Here are some tips to keep your home free of fire hazards:

  • Place candles on stable and fire-resistance surfaces.  Never leave them unattended or place them in a spot you can’t see.  Always keep candles away from children and pets.
  • Keep lighters and matches out of children’s reach.  It’s best to lock them away in a kitchen cabinet or cupboard.
  • Always keep the screen on while your fireplace is burning.  Keep flammable objects away from lighted candles and fireplaces. 
  • Inspect and clean your chimney and fireplace at least once a year.
  • Avoid frying turkey at home.  Purchase your fried turkey from a restaurant instead! 


Choose Your Decorations Wisely.

While decorations can bring holiday cheer to our homes, they’re not always as harmless as they seem.  There are countless injuries and accidents yearly because of holiday decorations people bring into their houses.  Here are some ways you can decorate your space safely:

  • Keep poisonous decorative plants like holly berries, mistletoe, and Jerusalem cherries away from children and pets.
  • Place your Christmas tree at least three feet away from heat sources. 
  • Don’t block doorways with your Christmas tree and other decorations. 
  • Keep small ornaments and other choking hazards out of children’s reach. 
  • Follow instructions carefully when setting up Christmas lights.  Don’t use light sets that have broken parts or frayed wires.  Keep plugs away from snow and puddles. 
  • Use a proper ladder to set up decorations.  Don’t step on furniture to reach high areas of the house!


Happy Holidays!

The holidays are a time to be merry, but things can quickly go south when we don’t celebrate carefully.  Always put safety first! For more information, contact Friedman Law Offices at +1 800-876-1093.