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Now that the holiday season is officially underway, there are places to go, meals to cook, decorations to maintain and so on.  Here are some things to keep in mind to keep yourself and your loved ones happy, healthy and injury free this season.

Candles and Electric Decorations

As you decorate for your celebrations, there are several things you should keep in mind when using candles and electric decorations.

Candles

  • Always keep a burning candle in sight.  
  • Never burn a candle near anything that can catch fire.
  • Always place your candles on a stable and heat resistant surface.
  • Use battery operated candles, if possible.

Electric Decorations

  • Always inspect electric decorations for damage before use.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets.
  • Never connect more than three strings of incandescent lights.
  • Turn off or unplug all decorations before going to sleep or leaving the house.

Trees

Christmas trees are a popular part of the holiday season.  If you prefer real trees in your home, be sure to do the following:

  • When picking your tree, be sure to pick a fresh tree with needles that do not fall off when touched.
  • When you bring your tree home, make sure that it is at least 3 feet away from any heat sources, like fireplaces, radiators, and heat vents.
  • Before you decorate your tree, be sure to check all strings of lights for worn or broken cords and read the manufacturer’s instructions for how many strands of lights to connect.
  • Most importantly, water your tree every day!

Decorations

When decorating your home to make it more festive for the season, be sure to be mindful of the items you use to decorate with and where you place them.  For example:

  • When hanging decorations, be sure that they are firmly secured to the location that you’ve placed them.
  • If you use “Angel Hair,” be aware that it is made from spun glass and can irritate your eyes and skin.  To keep this from occurring be sure to where gloves or use an alternative material as a substitute.
  • Artificial snow used for windows can irritate the lungs if inadvertently inhaled.  Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully.
  • If you have a tree in your home, keep your pets and kids in mind as you decorate.  Keep breakable items you place on the tree toward the top of the tree.
  • If you use plants to decorate around your home, make sure that they are kid and pet friendly.  Some plants can be poisonous, like poinsettias.  Be sure to have the number for poison control or use the artificial variety.

Travel

If you are one of the people who travels to visit family during the holidays, you know it is one of the busiest travel times of the year.  Before you leave, you should be prepared.  Here are a few things to do before you depart

  • Prepare your home for optimum safety while you are away.
  • Make sure that your security system and all of its components are working properly.  Don’t forget to turn it on when you leave.
  • Have your car inspected and/or serviced before you leave.
  • Make sure that your car is in good working order before you leave on a long trip where you will be driving.  Don’t forget to have an emergency kit in your trunk too.
  • Plan your drive ahead of time.
  • When driving to your destination during one of the busiest travel times of the year, be sure to plan out which way you will take to get there.  Be sure to plan some alternate routes in case of heavy traffic.
  • Give someone close to you a copy of your trip itinerary and photocopies of important documents.
  • You can give these items to a relative or a friend.  It’s a good idea to do this in case of an emergency.

Holiday Cooking

Are you hosting your family for dinner this holiday season?  We all know that everyone loves to gather in the kitchen.  Here are a few tips to keep everyone safe while they wait for the meal to be ready.

  • Keep a timer with you for food items that need to cook for a long time.  
  • If you need to leave the kitchen, the timer is the best way to help you remember to check your food for doneness.
  • Move matches and lighters out of the reach of children.
  • Secure loose cords from small appliances so no one accidently pulls them off the counter.
  • Store toys, purses and other bags in a safer place so no one trips over them.
  • Don’t give the gift of food poisoning.  
  • Make sure to use meat thermometers, and to store food items at a proper temperature.  Don’t forget to get those leftovers in the refrigerator within two hours.

Outside Your Home

Holiday guests are a given.  When people come to your home, you need to be sure that they can safely make it to your front door.  Winter weather can create obstacles and injury.  Be sure to do the following to prevent any mishaps from occurring.

  • Keep sidewalks and walkways clear.
  • Use salt or ice melt.
  • Secure handrails and railings.
  • Fix any broken or crumbling steps.
  • Provide plenty of light on pathways.

We hope that you’ve found these holiday tips helpful.  Feel free to contact us if you have questions about your insurance coverage.

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Let Us Work For You

Bill Abbott has found that 43% of other clients are overpaying for their insurance and 26% have missing coverages.
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