Sunday, November 22, 2009

10 Holiday Safety Tips

It will be Thanksgiving in a few days. Everyone thinks about holiday fun--food, friends, and the Black Sunday ads--but they often forget about the dangers of the holiday season. Here's some safety tips:
  1. Deep fried turkey. Need I say more? Check out the video here.
  2. Back over accidents. Kids are short, cars/trucks/SUVs are tall. Bad combination. With lots of people around, you can lose track of a kid and someone can back over them in only seconds. When there are people around, be sure to walk all the way around your car before getting into it and backing out of the driveway.
  3. Driving accidents. There are a bunch of ways to get into a driving accident but the most common around the holidays are because of bad weather (snow, ice, rain) and because of DUIs. Having even one drink at a holiday party can leads to irreparable harm on the roads.
  4. Be careful on ladders. Better yet, stay off them all together. Tis the season to hang up holiday lights and decorations but ask any hospital/ambulance company what their largest number of injuries are from and falls will most likely be in the top two or three. I didn't believe this until I saw the data but apparently falls out number other causes of injuries in our state by many thousands.
  5. Look for dangers around your home. Right now my home is not dangerous. With only the spouse and I, everything is set just the way we like it. During the holidays, however, when family of all ages come from around the country, I need to re evaluate my home for dangers. Things like firearms, medications, poisons, etc. can be fine with just an older couple in the home but can be deadly if found by inquisitive kids.
  6. Be extra alert for thefts, burglaries, and robberies. Sometimes people get desperate during the holidays and take advantage of opportunity (a car that is full of high end presents), see something that catches their eye (like a box from a 50" plasma TV next to your house), or plan an even bigger score (like a bank robbery). Stay aware.
  7. Be fire safe. This is also the season for fires. Aside from the turkey inferno above, candles, fireplaces that haven't been cleaned in decades, frayed cords on tree lights, overloaded circuits, and dried out Christmas trees can all cause a fire. Be sure your smoke detectors are in working order.
  8. Be carbon monoxide safe. Obviously never use a barbecue grill inside, always use (and vent) your generator correctly, and if you are working on your car in the garage, always have the doors open. Along with the winter holidays come winter-related power outages, the use (and misuse) of generators which cause carbon monoxide deaths each year, and working on cars indoors as opposed to outside due to the weather which requires additional safety measures.
  9. Malls and other shopping areas require extra attention during the holidays. Whether you run into a thief who wants to relieve you of your packages or lose a kid in the swarm of shoppers, plan ahead for every contingency.
  10. Keep an eye on kids and pets. Little kids and pets can get into all kinds of things (decorations and ornaments, poisonous plants like Poinsettias, dangerous toys) or get too close to the fireplace/turkey fryer/space heater, all of which can lead to injuries or death.

Here's to having a safe holiday!


  1. Many people forget the pets around the holidays. There is so much they can get into and get themselves hurt. Great tips.

  2. Great tip about the pets! My lab used to love my Mom's Christmas tree because she had a bunch of ornaments that she bought in the Caribbean?! They were starfishes, etc...

    Who knew, but the sea salt drove her crazy until she knocked down the tree and munched them all!

    No harm, no foul, but you must make your Christmas festivities safe for your pets!

  3. Speaking of deep fried turkeys. I was absolutely floored when I recently saw an ad for an INDOOR turkey fryer.

    While you're on the subject of holiday safety here's a good space heater safety guide I found.

  4. Indoor turkey fryer?? Think I'll wait for the YouTube videos before I decide if I want one... :)