10 Tips for Keeping Your Home and Family Safe During the Holidays

We all love the Christmas holidays for their atmosphere of
magic, happiness, and unity with our families. It’s the time of year when both
kids and adults sincerely believe that dreams can come true, making New Year’s
resolutions and waiting for Santa Claus to visit.
According to a study from the American Christmas Tree
Association (ACTA), almost 78% of American families are planning to display a
Christmas tree in their homes. This means that thousands of houses will be lit
with multicolored seasonal decorations, and our pets might want to attack those
shimmering bulbs on the Christmas trees.
We at Bright Side rounded up a selection of protective
tricks and pieces of advice that might help you have both a merry and safe
Christmas this year.
1. Protect your house from intruders.

10 Tips for Keeping Your Home and Family Safe During the Holidays
According to the FBI, December is the peak month for house
robberies. We all remember Home Alone, where many families left their houses
for the holidays and 2 burglars planned to rob each of them. Even if you’re not
planning to leave for another country, it might be good to think about home
security because the whole holiday rush can overwhelm you and make you forget
about simple precautions.
  • First and foremost, don’t forget to lock your front door,
    even if you live in a safe neighborhood. Make sure that newly fallen snow is
    shoveled so burglars won’t think your home is empty.
  • Make your home appear occupied at all times. Leave lights on
    when you go out. Don’t store presents and valuable things on window sills.
    Don’t display everything you own.
  • Some burglars will even look through your trash and see
    jewelry boxes or other expensive things you’ve bought. To minimize the risk,
    tear them apart before you take out your trash.

It’s a minimal decoration, but it makes a clear statement.
Thieves are not welcome here.

10 Tips for Keeping Your Home and Family Safe During the Holidays
2. Position your Christmas tree wisely.

10 Tips for Keeping Your Home and Family Safe During the Holidays
A Christmas tree is the main focus of attention in every
house during the holidays. As the family gathers around it, you should make
sure it won’t fall down or bring any other “discomfort” to your
guests. The position of the tree plays an important role. Keep the tree away
from open fires or other sources of heat.
  • Use special tree cradles or stands to mount the tree, and
    make sure it doesn’t bend. Another great option is to anchor your tree with a
    bucket filled with rocks and water.
  • Some people advise adding water to a tree stand to prevent
    it from overdrying and to keep the pine needles fresh. Keep in mind that a
    freshly cut tree absorbs as much as a gallon of water a day.

That’s what we call a well-watered Christmas tree!
10 Tips for Keeping Your Home and Family Safe During the Holidays
3. Set up house decorations properly.

10 Tips for Keeping Your Home and Family Safe During the Holidays
Decorations make every home ready for Christmas and make the
holiday season more palpable. Decorating your Christmas tree is a great
opportunity to bond with your family, and nothing should cast a shadow over
this joyous time.
  • Check that all the electric bulbs work properly and that
    none of them have cracked lamp holders. The whole cord must not have any
    breakages. Replace broken or damaged toys.
  • Place all extension cords close to the walls so that no one
    trips over and falls. Inspect cords, and make sure there are no damaged sockets
    that might cause a fire in your house.

Kiddos, I am your Christmas tree!

10 Tips for Keeping Your Home and Family Safe During the Holidays
4. Set up external decorations on your house correctly.

10 Tips for Keeping Your Home and Family Safe During the Holidays
Setting up external decorations on your house is the best
way to show everyone how much you enjoy this wonderful time of year. And make
your neighbors envious, of course. It’s also important to make sure that these
decorations are completely safe for you and your family and those who come to
sing a carol.
  • Light up a pathway to your house, and keep it clean from
    snow and ice. The entrance should be safe to approach to prevent slips and
    falls.
  • Be sure to install light bulbs and extension cords rated for
    outdoor use. Try to place the bulbs away from all materials that ignite easily.
  • Be careful when you install lights and decorations,
    especially up on a roof. Use a safe ladder. Turn off the electricity to the
    supply outlet before working on wiring.

Need a hand, neighbor? (Don’t worry. It’s a mannequin.)
10 Tips for Keeping Your Home and Family Safe During the Holidays
5. Be mindful when eating during the festive season.

10 Tips for Keeping Your Home and Family Safe During the Holidays
Who doesn’t love a big piece of freshly cooked turkey,
crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside? The holiday season is the best
time to taste a bit of everything on the table. That means piles of cookies,
cakes, Mom’s specials, sweet potatoes, and marshmallows. Americans, on average,
gain about one pound during the holiday season due to overeating.
  • Eat mindfully. When we arrive at our parents’ house, we
    often feel like children again and let ourselves eat much more than our bodies
    need. Try to eat smaller portions of your favorite food.
  • Don’t forget about exercises because the holidays are not an
    excuse to skip your workout routine. Go skiing, or have a snow fight! Do
    anything that keeps you off the couch.

Brace yourselves! The Christmas dinners are coming!

10 Tips for Keeping Your Home and Family Safe During the Holidays
6. Use fireplaces and candles safely during the holidays.

10 Tips for Keeping Your Home and Family Safe During the Holidays
Happy moments can be spoiled if the fireplace causes a house
fire. That’s why it’s very important to take precautions before Christmas Eve
and to deal with all issues in advance. According to the NFPA, approximately
230 home fires start with Christmas trees every year. Little safety precautions
can go a long way:
  • When decorating a fireplace, make sure that decorations like
    stockings and tree branches are hung at a safe distance from the blazing fire.
  • Hire a professional chimney sweep to clean out all the dust
    and ash and prevent a chimney fire. Install smoke alarms in your house (outside
    each sleeping area). Buy a fire extinguisher.
  • Also, don’t place your Christmas tree or wrapped presents
    near a fireplace because they are highly combustible.

She told me to make our fireplace safe. I did.

10 Tips for Keeping Your Home and Family Safe During the Holidays
7. Remember pet safety during the holidays.

10 Tips for Keeping Your Home and Family Safe During the Holidays
Sometimes our pets see a Christmas tree as a magical
playground that you installed for their pleasure. Cats jump on it trying to
chase shimmering lights; dogs bite off pine needles. Not only do you have to
protect your tree but your pets as well. Try to work your pet’s energy off
outside the house or in another room so that they won’t bother the tree.
  • You might want to choose Christmas ornaments that are less
    attractive for a cat. Less shiny ones can still be beautiful. Or you can put a
    foil cover around the base of the tree since cats hate walking on it.
  • As for dogs, you can protect them by installing a foldable
    kid’s play yard or a canine exercise pen.

Nailed it.

10 Tips for Keeping Your Home and Family Safe During the Holidays
8. Electrical safety comes first.
10 Tips for Keeping Your Home and Family Safe During the Holidays
Just as an unattended fireplace can cause a fire, an
electrical safety hazard can spoil the merry mood as well. Make sure that you
and your family stay safe for Christmas:
  • Don’t overload electrical circuits or extension cords.
  • Replace any strings of lights with worn or broken cords or
    loose bulb connections. Always turn Christmas lights out before leaving home or
    going to sleep.
  • Purchase lights that have a label from a recognized testing
    organization. Remember to follow the instructions on the labels regarding the
    installation of lights and cords.

I’m just checking if it’s working.

10 Tips for Keeping Your Home and Family Safe During the Holidays
9. Firework accidents don’t have to happen.

10 Tips for Keeping Your Home and Family Safe During the Holidays
Fireworks are amazingly beautiful and mesmerizing, but
careless celebrations can still end in painful injuries. Fireworks cause
thousands of burns and eye injuries each year. If you plan to entertain your
guests with a firework party, make sure you know the following tips:
  • Only adults should light fireworks. Place them far from
    houses and other people. Direct fireworks away from your family and other
    spectators.
  • Carefully read and follow the instructions on a firework
    package, and keep open flames away from it.
  • If your kids want to hold a sparkler, make sure they’re
    wearing gloves. Never hold a baby in your arms while you are holding a
    sparkler.

“So my friends accidentally shot a firework into their
box of OTHER fireworks…”

10 Tips for Keeping Your Home and Family Safe During the Holidays
10. Remember cooking safety measures.

10 Tips for Keeping Your Home and Family Safe During the Holidays
Tasty food is as much a part of the holidays as Christmas
carols or presents. This year, keep in mind food safety when cooking in the
kitchen.
  • Plan all your cooking in advance, and make sure that every
    electrical item in your kitchen works properly. Don’t forget to store the
    leftovers properly.
  • Don’t let anyone eat raw cookie dough if they assist you in
    the kitchen.
  • Don’t leave the stove or oven on when you’re going to sleep.
    Stay in the kitchen all the time while the cooking is in process.

Bonus: Just in case you need some extra help, bring Macaulay
Culkin.
10 Tips for Keeping Your Home and Family Safe During the Holidays
The Christmas holidays are a time for family fun and
friendly reunions, and nothing should spoil your cheerful time. Which safety
measures do you know that keep your house safe during the holiday season? Share
your tips and valuable pieces of advice in the comments. Stay safe this
Christmas!

SOURCE: BRIGHTSIDE
Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.