Easy Tips For A Safe Holiday Season

Dated: 11/09/2016

Views: 202

The weather in Middle Tennessee is finally starting to turn cold, and we all know that that means - Thanksgiving and Christmas. In the chaos of visiting relatives and too much food, it's easy to see why so many accidents are centered around this time of year.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, over 15,000 people wind up in the ER with holiday-related injuries each year. An average of 2100 Turkey-related fires are reported each Thanksgiving, and another 400 Christmas tree fires per year. While not always holiday-centric, those decorate candles you see in abundance at this time of the year? They make up 10,000 fires per year.

Look, we don't want to scare you - but a fire or other mishap during the holidays is restricted to the Griswalds. With that in mind, we'd like to share a few easy tips to keep your family happy and healthy during the holidays.

The Bird

Many common and costly accidents are linked to turkey frying. While quick and tasty, there are a few things to keep in mind before you turn the heat up. 

- First, keep your fryer off the deck and out from any awnings. If oil spills or ignites, it'll be less likely to catch that the dry wood of your deck. The trick is making sure the fryer is level. A few pavers, bricks or blocks, firmly placed and leveled, can make a good base for your fryer's feet.

- Second, make sure the bird is fully thawed and dry. Chunks of ice can hide under wings and in the cavity that have explosive results once they hit hot oil. Likewise, avoid watery marinades that could cause splashes. Lastly - and this made all the harder because we just told you not to put it under an awning - quit frying at the first sign of rain or snow.

The Tree

Whether you choose a reusable model or go real and traditional, the center point of your Christmas celebrations still needs some special attention when it comes to safety. 

- Get rid of worn out of lights and upgrade to LED's. They don't burn hot like old style bulbs and they're far more energy efficient. Traditionally, people used actual candles to light the tree - you can imagine how dangerous that was.

- Make sure the base of the tree is securely mounted, and test the tree to make sure it's not prone to tipping. Even some sway can knock loose delicate glass ornaments and create a big hazard. For extra care, keep the tree away from highly trafficked areas or the fireplace.

- Only buy fire-resistant artificial trees. Most now-a-days are, but look for the marking. For real trees, make sure to pick one that is green and moist, with a trunk that's sticky with resin. Needles shouldn't shake loose, pull off, or bend easily. This sort of tree will have a high moisture content, and be less likely to catch.

- If you have toddlers and pets, be mindful of the ornaments you use. Baked goods, pop-corn, and candy canes are all traditional favorites, but they also be tempting treats to the unwary. Place all decorations high and out of reach of grasping hands and paws to prevent choking.

The Outdoors

A Christmas comedy staple is to have the bumbling dad fall from the roof while decorating. While few look forward to climbing up and down to set lights every year, we often don't regard it with the caution we should.

- If it's windy, just don't. It can be precarious enough being that high up on a nice day, let along in wind or wet conditions. Hey, we might have just given you a reprieve until next weekend!

- Make sure the ladder is planted firmly - above and below. Obviously, this means avoid mud or unstable surfaces, but up in the air, watch out when leaning the ladder agains flexible or old gutters that might not handle the weight. This also mean no stretching or wiggling that could send you tumbling.

- Strictly stick to strands of lights rated for the outdoors,  and no more than three strings of lights per extension cord. This can be a hard rule to follow with bigger homes, but you risk tripping breakers or worse. Again, LED bulbs can help a lot here. If you're stilling pulling a tub of lights out of the garage from 15 years ago, it's worth the upgrade.

Have a good tip we should have included? Let us know on Facebook!

Call us at 615-439-7670, or drop us a line at info@weichertandrewsgroup.com for more help or a free consultation!

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