The holidays are meant to be bright and merry, but sometimes safety hazards can be overlooked. Families can neglect to see the many dangers inside and outside of their home; therefore, we are providing some helpful tips to ensure that you and your loved ones have joyous and safe holidays.
For the majority of Americans, the use of lights, tinsel, garland and candles go up exponentially during the holiday season. While it may look festive, the potential danger for a fire also grows exponentially and a fire can spark in the blink of an eye. According to the National Safety Council, 12% of home candle fires occur in the month of December. The increased usage of candles and fireplaces near decorations and trees make a home more at risk for a deadly and uncontrollable fire. It is important to never leave an unattended candle burning; whether that is leaving the house for a few minutes or while sleeping. Make sure that all candles are out of reach from children and that they are seated on a stable surface. Do not burn candles near trees, curtains or other highly flammable items. Lastly, do not burn trees, wreaths or wrapping paper in the fireplace.
Making sure the inside of your home is safe and hazard free is imperative, but if you are one of the 99 million Americans who are traveling more than 50 miles, be sure that you are taking extra precautions. The two biggest concerns families need to watch for are impaired driving and weather conditions.
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According to Injury Facts 2015, traveling by automobile had the highest fatality rate over any other form of transportation. In 2013, 88 people died on Christmas day and 31% of those fatalities were due to alcohol-impaired driving. Impaired driving isn’t just being under the influence of alcohol; the use of over-the-counter or illegal drugs also impairs drivers.
When traveling for the holidays, make sure that every passenger is wearing a seatbelt, designate a navigator so that the driver is not on their phone or distracted by a GPS, check the weather and drive defensively. Although we cannot control the irresponsibility of impaired drivers, being prepared in other ways can help you and your loved ones stay safe.
Before getting on the road, check weather conditions and give yourself plenty of time to get to your designation. If by some unfortunate chance you have car trouble, make sure that a first aid kit, food, water and warm clothes are stored in your vehicle.
The holidays are meant to be joyous, so give yourself the gift of safety by being prepared and remaining extra cautious inside and outside of your home!