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Tips for Staying Safe During the Holidays

As festive activities and winter weather ramp up, a few easy steps can safeguard everyone.

person hanging holiday decorations outside, photo
Photo credit
Photo: Jen Grantham / Stocksy
Photo caption
Take care when hanging holiday lights and other decorations outdoors.

Trick-or-treaters, party guests, carolers: The holidays are full of people out and about. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and these safety tips can help you keep it that way.

Watch for boys and ghouls According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Halloween has one of the highest rates of pedestrian fatalities of any day of the year. So drive slowly, especially in residential neighborhoods. To make kids more visible to drivers, have them go trick-or-treating in groups and add reflective stickers to their costumes. 

Mind the ice and snow Did you know that braking distances can more than double on slippery roads? Leave extra room between your car and the vehicle ahead, and allow plenty of time to stop at intersections and crosswalks. Reduce your speed during stormy weather.

Take care in the kitchen Cooking is a big part of holiday celebrations. It’s also the leading cause of house fires. Never leave the turkey—or anything else—unattended in the oven or on the stovetop. Keep towels, napkins, and other flammable materials away from heat. And now is a good time to test your smoke alarms and replace batteries, if needed.

Stay alert at the wheel Drowsy driving is always dangerous. Avoid driving alone late at night, especially after a big meal. If you’re on a long trip, share the driving duties with a companion.

Decorate with Caution Before stringing holiday lights, check each strand for any frayed wires or insulation gaps. If you’re using a ladder outdoors, be sure to place it on even ground, have someone else help you with the project, and don’t reach too far to hang decorations. Move the ladder as necessary. To prevent fires, turn off the lights before you go out and when you go to bed. 

This article was first published in November 2016. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

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