The holiday season is upon us and it’s a great time to reflect on our blessings and seek out ways to make life better for those around us. While that can be difficult at times as we struggle with shopping lists, holiday cards, cooking and the occasional melt-down, it is important to remember the people in our lives who make it all completely worth it.
This holiday season there are going to be many situations that are out of your control, however when it comes to common holiday risks there are a few ways we can protect ourselves. Check out our tips below to help ensure that you and your family stay protected.
1. Beware of Christmas tree light dangers.
• Inspect each set of Christmas lights (old or new) for damage. Return or throw out any set with cracked or broken sockets, frayed or bare wires or loose connections.
• Replace burned out bulbs promptly with bulbs of the same wattage.
• Choose Christmas lights that have been tested and deemed safe by a reputable testing laboratory, the best are UL or ETL. Christmas lights listed as safe by these laboratories will note that on the packaging.
• LED lights are the best to use. They use much less energy and do not give off heat.
2. Be cautious when hanging lights outdoors.
• Decorating with lights often requires the use of a ladder, and improper ladder use could lead to an injury. Always be cautious and be sure to have someone around to help if case of an emergency.
• Use extension cords properly. Outdoor cords can be used anywhere, but never use indoor extension cords outside. Also, do not overload extension cords–they can get hot enough to burn.
• Secure outside Christmas lights with insulated holders (never use tacks or nails) or run strings of lights through hooks.
3. Be cognizant of porch pirates.
With all the online shopping happening this year, be cognizant of when your packages are arriving. (Ask your neighbors to keep an eye out, or ask the delivery company to make sure to get a signature when delivering.)
4. Hide "expensive" Boxes from thieves.
Avoid putting boxes for expensive items, such as TVs, gaming consoles, etc, at the end of your driveway or overflowing out of your trashcan. Items like this can be a beacon for thieves.
5. Be cautious around fireplaces.
While majority of Floridian’s either don’t have a fireplace or don’t use them, for those of you that do, please be cautious:
• Be sure to keep your tree away from any heat sources, like radiators and fireplaces, which will expedite the drying process.
• Tossing wrapping paper into the fireplace may seem harmless enough, but doing so can result in a flash fire.