Many of you will travel to spend your Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday with loved ones, and many will host family and friends at home. The Billy Johnson Law Firm wants to share some safety tips to help our friends and neighbors have a wonderful time during the upcoming holidays, no matter where you spend them.
Cooking SafetyCooks should avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while preparing the holiday meal. Never leave the stove unattended. If the cook has to leave the kitchen, even for a short time, they should turn off the stove. More cooking safety steps are:
- Use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on.
- Keep children and pets away from the cooking area.
- Keep anything that can catch fire – pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains — away from the stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
- Clean cooking surfaces regularly to prevent grease (and germ) buildup.
- Have a fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen.
- Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.
Christmas Tree SafetyWhen purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label “fire-resistant.” When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, with needles that are hard to pull from branches and do not break when bent between your fingers. More tree safety steps are:
- When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces, radiators and portable heaters. Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways.
- Diagonally cut at least an inch off the trunk of your tree to expose the fresh wood. This allows for better water absorption and will help to keep your tree from drying out and becoming a fire hazard.
- Be sure to keep the stand filled with water, because heated rooms can dry live trees out rapidly.
- Make sure the base is steady so the tree won’t tip over easily.
General Holiday SafetyMost of these are just common sense suggestions. But with so much upcoming activity, we all can use a reminder.
- Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the U.S.
- Test your smoke alarms, and let guests know what your fire escape plan is.
- Electric toys should be UL/FM approved.
- Place older ornaments and decorations that might be painted with lead paint out of the reach of small children and pets.
- Poinsettias are known to be poisonous to humans and animals, so keep them well out of reach, or avoid having them.
- Avoid using tinsel. It can fall on the floor, and a curious child or pet may eat it. This can cause anything from mild distress to death.
- Inspect wrapped gifts for small decorations, such as candy canes, gingerbread men, and mistletoe berries, all of which could be choking hazards.
- If you plan to travel for the holidays, don’t discuss your plans with strangers, and ask a trusted friend or neighbor to keep an eye on your home.