To practice Christmas safety, all one needs to do is watch Clark Griswold and then do the opposite. From improper ladder use to electrical no-nos, he best exemplifies many of the mistakes made around the holidays that can lead to tragedy. There are several elements that when combined create extra risk at Christmas, such as winter weather, higher levels of stress, too much eggnog and more traffic on roadways. Here are 12 days of Christmas safety tips to keep your holiday merry and bright.
On the First Day of Christmas…Santa blew a fuse
Avoid plugging too many lights and decorations into an outlet. Overloaded circuits can overheat and start a fire. It’s also important to remember to turn off holiday lights and decorations when you leave the house or go to bed.
On the Second Day of Christmas…An elf fell off a ladder
Before using a ladder, check to make sure it’s the right height for the job and that it is placed on level, firm footing. Brad Parker warns about trying to do all the decorating alone. “The older you get; your balance isn’t what it used to be. Even a minor fall can cause long-term damage,” Brad says. “It’s important to always have someone else there when you are decorating to help hold the ladder, hand you things or call for medical assistance if you do fall.”
On the Third Day of Christmas…Rudolph wrecked the sleigh
As we get nearer to Christmas, North Texans are rushing to make any last-minute purchases and will be spending more time on the road. There may also be people in town who aren’t familiar with the roads or local traffic regulations. Then, there are the usual distractions like cellphones, GPS, the radio and the kids in the car. All of this is compounded by drivers who get behind the wheel after over-imbibing at holiday office parties or family get-togethers.
On the Fourth Day of Christmas…Mrs. Clause caused a kitchen fire
The kitchen can be one of the most dangerous rooms in the home if you don’t practice safe cooking behaviors. Remember to stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. To prevent cooking fires, you have to be alert. You won’t be if you are sleepy, have been drinking alcohol, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy. Keep anything that can catch fire – potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, or towels – away from your stovetop or an open flame.
On the Fifth Day of Christmas…The elves partied too hard
With more parties and days off from work, more drinking and driving occur over the holidays. More highway deaths related to alcohol occur during the holidays than at other times of year. When attending holiday parties, simply not drinking before driving is the best strategy for avoiding an accident. Anyone who plans to drink away from home should make arrangements in advance for a designated driver, Uber or cab.
On the Sixth Day of Christmas…Nobody remembered to water the tree
A dehydrated Christmas tree with dry needles is a fire hazard. Once cut down from its roots, the cut on the tree’s trunk will start to close, preventing it from soaking up water. A fresh cut will make it easier for the tree to drink water when you bring it home. It’s recommended that you add water to the tree base every day. Brad says, “In addition to watering your tree and checking the lights for frayed edges, it’s critical to have operational smoke detectors in your home. Also…have two or three fire extinguishers at each end of the house for easy access.”
On the Seventh Day of Christmas…Santa gave Bobby a dangerous toy
Gift buyers should check labels for age recommendations and be sure to select gifts that are appropriate for a child’s age and maturity. “Parents should go online and look to see what the consumer reports are warning about dangerous toys,” Brad says. “You may not appreciate the danger before someone else points it out.” Also, don’t forget the helmet if you give the kids a new bike or scooter.
On the Eighth Day of Christmas…Mrs. Clause undercooked the turkey
Food poisoning frequently occurs at Christmas. Raw turkey or poultry that is mishandled or not stored correctly could make family or friends ill after the meal. Turkey should always thaw in the refrigerator and when cooked, it should have an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Brad says, “There are so many meat thermometers on the market, undercooking really shouldn’t ever happen. If you can’t easily pull the leg off, it’s probably not done.”
On the Ninth Day of Christmas…Frosty slipped on the ice
The festive season occurs in winter, which is the time when people often encounter factors like snow, ice, and sleet- resulting in possible slips and falls. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of five falls can cause a serious injury to a person’s head or may result in broken bones. Brad says, “Keep your driveway and walkways clear of ice and snow, especially if you’re expecting guests.”
On the Tenth Day of Christmas…The reindeer got into the mistletoe
If your pets eat mistletoe, it can affect their heart, causing low blood pressure and slowed heart rate. While severe mistletoe toxicity is uncommon and usually only occurs if your pet eats a large amount, watch out for symptoms such as gastrointestinal upset, difficulty breathing, weakness, and odd behavior. Another holiday plant, poinsettias, have a milky white, latex sap that can be very irritating to your pet’s mouth and stomach.
On the Eleventh Day of Christmas…Prancer overshared on social media
Refrain from posting holiday vacation pictures in real time. Doing so can result in would-be robbers figuring out where you are and how far you are from home. Anything with either your personal information or information that can be used to redeem something digitally shouldn’t be shared. Scammers and hackers use this time of year especially to crack into your accounts and steal your information.
On the Twelfth Day of Christmas…Santa caught a cold
In the past, the holidays represented the peak of cold and flu season, but this year we’ve got bigger concerns because of COVID. Don’t forget to get your flu shot, wash your hands regularly, wear a mask and practice social distancing. Family gatherings may need to be smaller this year but ensuring the safety of loved ones is a gift that keeps on giving.
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At Parker Law Firm, our experienced personal injury lawyers believe people matter. We are committed to our clients, not case numbers, and we believe in the power of the civil justice system. With years spent both representing accident victims and participating in the state legislative process, our founder, Brad Parker, has developed a deep understanding of the law and gained unique experience that helps him get results for his clients.