Stay Safe This Christmas Season With These Handy Tips

Eriks Draiska
Published on December 6, 2016

Stay Safe This Christmas Season With These Handy Tips

The summer holidays – love them or not – are a time to celebrate. With celebration, however, often comes complacency. It’s a time of year when we are more prone to relax and let our guard down, all in the spirit of the season.

As wonderful as the holidays are, there is danger lurking behind some of the more common aspects of our celebrations. But there doesn’t have to be. With a little forethought, preparation and knowledge, the holiday period can be safe and worry-free.

Keep the kids safe

This is the time to remind children of the family’s basic rules, such as not speaking with strangers. Here are a few safety reminders to keep in mind when shopping with young children:

  • Select a meeting place in the event you become separated.
  • Teach your children how to identify mall security personnel and how to ask for help. If they can’t find a security guard, let them know they should seek help from a staff in a shop.
  • Remind them to never leave the shopping centre or mall without a parent or guardian.

Safety at home includes hanging ornaments, lights and other decorations out of the reach of little ones, keep anything heavy out of reach and don’t forget that mistletoe and holly berries are toxic and that game pieces can be choking hazards.

Holiday shopping safety

Unfortunately, crime rates tick upward during the holidays. “We call it good cheer,”  “Criminals call it complacency.”

Here are some tips to keep you out of harm’s way while shopping:

  • If shopping late in the day, park in an area that will be well-lit after dark.
  • Try not to shop alone. Thieves tend to target loners.
  • Walk with a purpose, paying attention to what’s going on around you.
  • Your car keys serve a number of safety purposes: carry them with the end of the keys pointing out to be used as a weapon. Sound the car’s alarm if anyone suspicious approaches you.
  • Check the back seat and under the car before entering it.
  • Don’t leave previous purchases, cell phones or other valuables on the seats, in plain sight. Lock everything of value in the boot.

Fire Prevention

According to the Fire Services, fire departments respond to dozens of Christmas tree fires nationally each year. These fires cause mild to severe injuries, deaths and property damage.

A fresh tree is less likely to burn than a dried-out tree so water yours daily. Additional holiday tree safety tips include:

  • Keep the tree at least a metre away from heat sources.
  • Before putting lights on the tree, inspect each string for exposed wires, frayed wires and broken sockets. If you have pets that like to chew on wires, inspect the strands frequently throughout the season.
  • If you need to use an extension cord, don’t overload it and don’t run it under a rug.

Candles can also play a prominent role in peoples’ holiday celebrations. The CFS warns that candles are responsible for numerous home fires each year. Candle safety includes not leaving them unattended while they are burning. Additional tips include:

  • Don’t use candles to decorate the tree or wreath. Use battery-operated candles instead.
  • Keep candles away from curtains and other flammable materials.
  • Ensure that lit candles are out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Do not sleep with a burning candle.

Speaking of pets

The holidays bring with them some special dangers for your pets. The RSPCA offers additional pet safety tips to keep in mind during the holidays:

  • Poinsettias, holly, pine needles and mistletoe are poisonous to pets.
  • Tinsel swallowed, means a trip to the emergency vet.
  • Don’t allow the dog or cat to drink from the tree stand. It may contain fertilizers and bacteria.
  • Secure the tree to ensure it doesn’t topple over when the kitty decides to take a hike up the trunk.
  • Dogs love chocolate. Chocolate doesn’t love dogs. Place the chocolate coins in their foil wrapping and net bags out of Fido’s reach.

Keep these tips in mind and, before you know it, the holidays will be a happy memory, everyone will be safe and life will get back to normal.

Wishing Your Family & Pets a Wonderful Christmas and Best Wishes for the New Year!

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