Top 10 Holiday Safety Tips from Danatec
1. Put up Holiday lights safely
Whether you’re putting up lights indoors or outdoors, make sure you’re taking the necessary precautions. When leaning the ladder against a wall to reach those high or difficult to reach locations, ensure that you have three points of contact: the ladder has solid footing, the ladder is contacting the wall at a good angle and that your feet and one hand is always on the ladder itself to support you. For additional information, check out our Fall Protection Awareness course.
2. Don’t overload your electrical sockets
It’s tempting to plug-in all your electronics, lights, and newest gadgets into one outlet, but in order to avoid an electrical fire or tripping the breaker, try to minimize the number of items plugged in to one item per an outlet. Don’t daisy chain power bars and if you’re using a space heater to get nice and toasty, only plug in one per an outlet as well. Terry Becker, our Electrical Safety Division Senior VP, has more electrical safety tips in this month’s blog.
3. Don’t rush, slow down
Whether you’re out shopping for last minute gifts at the shopping mall or packing the family into the car to Grandma’s house, take a moment to remember that there are many others also doing the same thing. We all want to make it to our destination and to celebrate the holidays with our loved ones. Take a moment to plan your route, and to breathe, especially during the slippery conditions of winter. For a complete winter driving course that will get you to your destination, we’ve got you covered.
4. Don’t leave the stove unattended
The turkey might be in the oven, but it doesn’t mean you’re free to leave to get that last minute gift. Always make sure that someone is there to monitor the oven as grease fires or possible mishaps may occur. If you’re cooking anything on the stove top, make sure that you’ve got clear counter space to transfer an item from the stove top to the counter in an emergency. Finally, consider double checking that your kitchen fire extinguisher is still valid and ready to be used. For a great refresher course on using the fire extinguisher, click here. It’s also a great time to check the batteries in your fire alarms.
5. Keep pathways clear and ice-free
There’s nothing worse than inviting all your friends and family for a holiday dinner and having one of your guests slipping on your driveway. Instead of enjoying the turkey stuffing, you’ll be worried about grandpa’s hip at the hospital. Do yourself and everyone else a favor and ensure that you’re pathways and walkways leading to your residence is clear of snow and ice. Consider using kitty litter, sand or ice melter to give guests that extra sure footing.
6. Lift with care
Bend from the knees and not from your back. That bit of advice rings true especially during the holidays when you’re loading that brand-new sofa set, table, or guest bed for your in-laws into the truck. Also, ensure that you have sufficient grip on the item and that the weight is not too much for you to handle. Dropping the item might be bad, but causing injury to your neighbor that is helping you unload could be even more disastrous. Take care in bringing the item to the ground as well, bend from the knees as you lower the item, and ensure that all extremities do not get pinched.
7. Don’t leave valuables visible in the car when left unattended
You might have presents wrapped or unwrapped that you’ve left in your backseat as you duck into the nearest Starbucks to keep yourself caffeinated, but there’s also a possibility that someone eyeing that new iPhone X you just bought for your sweetheart is just too good to pass up. If you can see your presents through your car window, so can potential thieves. Minimize the risk of having your valuables stolen by leaving them in your trunk or locking small items in your glove box. Consider transporting presents visible in your vehicle from the place of purchase directly home or use a blanket to cover it up.
8. Get into your vehicle with care
One of the most common injuries during the winter holiday season is individuals slipping or falling while they are getting into the vehicle. This is due to the false sense of safety as you’re going home after finally getting out of the busy shopping centre with that coveted ‘Tickle Me Elmo’ and you forget that shifting your weight from two feet standing to one foot inside the car leads to imbalance and falling. When entering your vehicle ensure that you are holding onto the door handle for leverage and that your butt is firmly contacting the seat before rotating and transferring your body into the car. Ensuring that you have proper footwear with good grip will also help you during the winter.
9. Be careful around open flames
Having lit candles at the dinner table or around the house adds to the warmth of the holiday season, but also carries the risk of setting anything within reach alight. Avoid having fabrics, decorations or items that can tip into the open flame by moving them away. Have a fire extinguisher in your house that is valid and accessible in an emergency (fire extinguisher training here). Ensure that your fire alarms are working. A safe alternative, especially if there are little ones running around, is using battery powered candles.
10. Tired? Rest before driving
Once you’ve finished that second helping of turkey, stuffing and all the fixings you’re going to be tired. Driving yourself, or your loved ones, home in a fatigued condition is as dangerous as driving impaired. Consider making plans to stay at your host’s residence if they are willing to take you in. Arrange for alternate transportation like an Uber or taxi. For an even greater understanding of Fatigue management, check out our course here. You can also enjoy another cup of coffee and staying awhile longer until you feel like yourself. It is the holidays after all, enjoy your time spent with family and friends.