Tis the Season to Celebrate Safely

DF SafetyHealth and Safety Tips, Personal Safety Guide

With the arrival of December, the sights and sounds of the festive season are becoming more and more abundant! This week, many of us begin decorating our homes, and preparing for the busy season ahead. Today, we’d like to discuss a few risks and safety measures to keep in mind as you begin to fill your home with holiday cheer!  

According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, “on average, there are about 160 Christmas decorating-related injuries each day during the holiday season, with over 40% of the incidents involving falls.” 

Decorating  

Whether it’s hanging outdoor lights, decorating the Christmas tree, or hauling heavy boxes from the garage or basement, holiday decorating can be hazardous. However, with proper planning and safe practices, these risks can be minimized or eliminated.    

Safety tips for success:  

  • Be aware of broken bulbs- these can cause shocks, fires, and cuts.   
  • Using the right ladder- if you decorate your home’s exterior, the type of ladder you use matters. Wood or fiberglass ladders are the best choice as metal ladders conduct electricity. This can help you avoid electrical shocks.   
  • Extension cords- ensure they are rated for their appropriate use. Indoor extension cords aren’t meant to be used in cold or wet environments. Also, don’t allow outdoor extension cords to sit on the ground where they can encounter damp soil, snow or ice. Instead, use a cord protector.   
  • Prevent tripping hazards by securing extension cords to the ground using ground staples or anchoring pins.   
  • Avoid overloading your outlet- this has the potential to overheat the products and possibly catch fire.   
  • Only plug your lights into a ground fault circuit interrupter outlet (GFCI). These outlets prevent fires by shutting the circuit down if there is too much current flowing through.   

Cooking   

The smells of Christmas baking and cooking is a fond memory for so many of us. Whether you are planning to be in your kitchen from now until Christmas day, or are set on baking a few favourite items, you want to ensure your kitchen is safe.  

Safety tips for success:  

  • Check smoke detectors are working properly.  
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before cooking.  
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby.  
  • Do not leave anything unattended when cooking.  
  • Store food appropriately and avoid cross contamination with other foods.  
  • Use sharp knives for chopping to help avoid injury.  
  • Watch for smaller children in and around hot items and the stove.  
  • Keep your work areas clean and disinfected.  

Travel  

The holidays are often a time to visit family and friends, which means time spent travelling back and forth. If you are planning a long drive, or visits within the city to share in celebrations, there are few things you should consider before you hit the road.  

Safety tips for success:  

  • Be aware of the road conditions and drive according to the weather.  
  • Distracted driving is common during this time of year, so put your phone down, watch out for other drivers and pedestrians, and stay alert when behind the wheel.  
  • Plan for a designated driver, or alternative transportation if you are planning to consume alcohol.  
  • Ensure your vehicle is stocked with items you may need if an emergency arises.  
  • Have someone check on your home if you are going to be away for an extended amount of time.  

We want everyone to have the merriest, and safest, Christmas celebrations with the people they love most. So, with a little preparation, caution, and awareness, we can all do our part to keep ourselves, and others, safe this holiday season.