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The 7 Surprising Dangers of the Holidays

There’s a spike in fire-related emergencies during the holidays. Those Christmas lights unattended on a thirsty tree and burning candles on the mantle might look beautiful, but they’re a recipe for disaster. Remember these safety tips for a memorable and safe holiday season.

Avoid Kitchen Nightmares

Declutter your kitchen to keep it safe this holiday season. Though your guests may want to keep you company, anyone not helping with dinner should stay out of the kitchen. Nothing personal, it’s just cooking.

Check Christmas Lights for Damage

Inspect all electrical cords for signs of fraying and other damage. Exposed electrical wires can cause a lethal shock and result in fire. Also check for broken or loose bulbs and replace as necessary. Older Christmas lights may not conform to current safety standards, so check the label and replace the string if in doubt. Remember to turn off all Christmas lights when going to bed. Not only is it safer, it’s a simple way to cut your electricity bill.

Fresh Trees Are Best

A dried-out Christmas tree is one match stick away from becoming a fireball. Check that the one you buy is not losing any needles. Make a fresh cut on the trunk’s bottom before you set it up. Verify the water level daily to ensure the tree does not dry out and keep it far away from any heat source. If you’ve opted for an artificial tree, verify that it is labeled as fire resistant. This type of tree is slower to catch fire and quicker to extinguish.

Respect Your Wrapping

There’s no denying that Christmas wrapping is gorgeous. There’s always some regret when throwing it out. But don’t be tempted to recycle it in the fireplace. This type of paper can cause flash fires resulting in serious personal injury and property damage. Put it the recycling bin; it’s a safer way to reduce your household waste.

Decorative Trimmings Can Be Devastating

Carefully consider the trimmings you put on your Christmas tree this year if you have small kids. Children are naturally attracted to these objects and can get hurt if they have sharp edges. Small decorations can also pose a choking hazard, so keep them tucked safely away for another season. Strong plastic decorations are safer than glass since they are less likely to break.

Don’t Breathe the Snow

Decorating your home with artificial snow is lots of fun; kids just love it. Sometimes they can get carried away spraying it around all over the place. That fun can abruptly end if they inhale the particles, as they frequently cause severe lung irritation. A little supervision in this situation can prevent an unscheduled trip to the emergency room.

Angel Hair Can Be Devilishly Irritating

Just like artificial snow, spun glass angel hair is one of those things that looks nice but requires careful handling. Eye and skin irritation are the most common symptoms associated with using this material, so make sure you wear gloves. Though angel hair doesn’t have small particles like fiberglass, it’s still not a good idea for kids to be putting their face too close.

The Christmas season is a time for laughter and fun. A little bit of caution and an ounce of prevention will keep you and your family from becoming a holiday statistic.