With the end of the almost nearly upon us, we wanted to close out 2019 with a discussion of something as timeless as holiday cheer: your safety. Joyous as these winter weeks are, for far too many families the red, green, black, white, and blue of their Chrismahanukwanzakah festivities will be tinged with grey.
Every year, hundreds of people are injured on Christmas, and several hundred more ring won’t make it to New Years. In part, alcohol can be blamed. This time of the year sees a spike in drunk driving, making the road unsafe not just for those behind the wheel, but also for anyone they pass on their way home. This doesn’t have to be the case.
If you plan to partake this holiday season, or even throw a party yourself, appoint a designated driver ahead of time so that you can ensure that both you and your guests are able to make it home safely. And remember, it’s not just alcohol that contributes to impaired driving. Over-the-counter drugs and marijauna impact your ability to drive safely too!
If it’s you who will be the designated driver, put the phone away to head off one of the biggest causes of distracted driving. And make sure that everyone buckles up for safety! It doesn’t matter if you’re going twenty miles, or twenty feet — the car shouldn’t move an inch before everyone is properly secured.
Back home where the fire is so delightful, keep an eye out for those kiddos. It might be pretty to look at, but the burns it causes won’t be. Open flames from a menorah, kinara, or any other source should be kept out of reach of both children and pets — and far away from any greenery or other decorations. According to the National Fire Protection Association, candles are the cause of nearly half of all house fires — and that is something that is never in anyone’s wish list.
Speaking of greenery, that tree is something to be especially mindful off. In addition to watering it every day so it doesn’t dry out, you should make sure it’s properly secured and won’t tip over onto anyone. Not only will you have to contend with the embarrassment of being tackled by an 8-foot Douglas Fir, but you’ll also find yourself swimming in a sea of shattered glass. Sure, it’s hysterical when it happens to Marv in Home Alone, but bare feet and broken baubles don’t mix in real life — especially when those toes belong to your little ones.
For anyone whose idea of a well-spent energy bill is a house that can be seen from space, you might want to take extra special precautions while setting up. We know it’s a bummer to inspect nine miles of Christmas lights, but wires can be damaged by the elements, and fray over years of use. You wouldn’t want to deck the halls with a defective electrical decorations, right?
Whether you plan to use those string lights indoors or outdoors, definitely don’t overload your sockets. The Electrical Safety Foundation International advises that homeowners should not plug plug more than three strands of incandescent lights together. Not only do you risk a broken fuse, but the perfect start of a house/wildfire. (And that will absolutely get you seen from space.)
We know safety isn’t always the merriest of subjects, but we hope these tips will help you maintain your good cheer both this holiday season, and the next. As the celebrations come into full swing we here at Howard Blau Law want to wish everyone a safe and Happy Holidays, and an exciting and prosperous New Year!
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Check Out These References for Further Reading:
“Winter Holiday Safety.” National Fire Protection Association. Retrieved 20 December 2019.
“Enjoy a Safe Holiday Season.” National Safety Council. Retrieved 20 December 2019.
“Tips for Driving Safely This Holiday Season.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved 20 December 2019.
“Holiday Safety Tips.” Safe Kids Worldwide. Retrieved 20 December 2019.
“Holiday Decoration Safety Tips.” Consumer Product Safety Commission. Retrieved 20 December 2019.