The holiday season should be one of fun and festivity. To keep your celebration as enjoyable as it can, prioritizing safety is a must. As unexpected as it might seem, there are a few around-the-house safety hazards that can lead to disaster if you are not careful during the holidays: falls, fires, and food poisoning.
Ladder Safety During the Holidays
Do you like to decorate your home for the holiday season? Do you celebrate Christmas with your family by putting up a large tree in your living room? In either situation, you are going to want to use a ladder – and that can get risky if you are hasty while decorating. Fall injuries tend to spike during the holidays as people climb ladders to string lights, adorn trees, and so forth.
When using a ladder, you should never stand on any rung or step that is either the topmost or marked as “do not step” by the ladder manufacturer. You should also not overextend yourself to hang a decoration or light while on a ladder. Only extend your arm to a comfortable range of motion without stretching, which should keep your center of gravity soundly underneath you.
Another great way to improve ladder safety is to recruit a family member to hold the ladder for you. Plus, it makes decorating for the holidays more fun!
Household Fire Hazards
During the holidays, there are probably more fire hazards in your home than during any other time of the year. The first new fire hazard is your chimney, which probably does not get much use outside of the holidays if you live in a warmer climate. Before you light your chimney for the first time in the winter, you should arrange for a professional chimney cleaner to inspect and maintain it. Removing old soot, ash, and debris inside of a chimney can help prevent unplanned combustions and fires.
The second fire hazard in your home during the holidays could be the lights that you hang up on your Christmas tree or hang from the banisters. If you do hang lights onto a living tree, make certain that the lights are rated for that purpose, which means they should not get hot even after hours of use. Be mindful when plugging lights into power strips and outlets. Putting too many plugs into a single source can create an electrical short risk capable of sparking and causing a fire.
The third and the worst fire hazard that probably shows up more often in your home during the holidays are scented candles. Everyone likes to put scented candles or holiday-themed candles in different rooms to make the whole house smell inviting and festive, of course, but you must be very careful about where you light them. Never place a lit candle near anything flammable, where kids and pets can reach it, or where fabric like a window curtain could be blown into it by the wind. Always extinguish a candle before leaving a room unoccupied, even for a minute.
Food Safety to Prevent Food Poisoning
Lastly, it is worth bringing up the dangers of incorrect food preparation. During the holiday season, many people cook elaborate meals for the first and only time each year. Unfamiliarity with a recipe increases the likelihood of doing something wrong, like cooking a ham or turkey to the wrong temperature.
Before you start any holiday meals you are preparing for your loved ones, take some extra time to research proper food prep instructions based on what you are cooking. Remember to always use meat thermometers and cook or bake meats until they reach minimum safe temperatures. Another evergreen rule is to never prepare raw meat on a surface used for any other purpose.
BD&J in Los Angeles would like to wish you and your family a safe and fun holiday season. We know that with a little extra care, everyone will have a great time. And here’s to a wonderful New Year, too!