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Holiday Survival Training

 
Making Sure Your Holidays are Peaceful

 

Do you know how many accidents happen around the holidays? I don’t either, but I’ve heard it’s a lot. Trees dry as dust, overloaded electrical doohickeys, dinner left unattended until the fire department shows up. The holidays can be dangerous for more reasons than eating too much cheese or hogging the bean dip. To keep you from burning more than ye olde Yule log, we’ve got the tips you need to stay safe this holiday season. And we've thrown in some tips on dealing with other safety and sanity issues, from food to guests, so dive in and start your holiday survival training! 
 

Indoors

 

Oh, Christmas Tree, oh Christmas Tree, how flammable are your branches! 
Water the tree. If it’s real, that is. Dry needles and branches create a perfect storm for going up in flames. Dry trees are a fire hazard. 

Why Cooks on Christmas Morn
There’s a lot to be done when it comes to holiday entertaining. Guests need to know where the towels are. Susie has a special diet—could you cook this instead? Someone asked for the wifi password. Again. It’s hectic. And if something is going on in the kitchen and your attention is required elsewhere, your nerves won’t be the only thing fried. Food/pans/deep fryers, etc. left unattended is the leading cause of home cooking fires (NFPA). 

It’s Electric!
You probably need an outlet from the holiday stress, and so do your electronic devices. But not the same one. Overloading outlets is a common cause of holiday fires. One outlet, one plug. Be especially cautious of high-voltage items.

Can’t Hold a Candle to It.
And you shouldn’t. Home décor gone bad. Very bad. Candles start a lot of fires. They are wick-ed. If you intend to have them on display, especially for long periods of time, use battery-operated ones or be sure you provide an appropriate surface that will catch hot wax as well as prevent the heat from passing. Keep the candles out of flame’s reach of anything. (NFPA) Tapered candles pose more of a threat when in the presence of children. Keep little hands from being able to play with fire. 

Lights Out!
Be cautious with your Christmas tree lights. Stringing several together is a no-no for the ho-ho season.  They can blow a fuse quicker than Uncle Harold. 

(For more safety tips to prevent fires, visit NFPA.org)


Outdoors

Icy conditionsIce, Ice, Baby.
Wear proper footwear. A pair of boots will give you traction, not to mention keep your feet warm. If you want to wear sneakers or other kinds of shoes, carry an extra pair with you to change into.  A pair of Yaktrax, which we carry in our outdoor department, can help maintain traction in icy conditions and keep you out of it in the hospital.

Get a Grip!
Don’t put your hands in your pockets as you walk on snow or ice.  If you slip, you will need your arms for balance, and you may be able to grab something to stop your fall.  If you do fall, your hands and arms can help you land safely. Then you can get up and walk off like it didn't happen. Cool, cool. 

Take a Load Off.
Don't carry large loads while walking on snow or ice, especially on stairways or ramps. It's dangerous-- and it makes the rest of us look like slackers.

Toe the Line!
When approaching a particularly slick area of snow or ice, explore the surface with your toe to see how slippery it is before you put your full weight on it. 

One Small Step for Mankind . . .
Take small, careful steps instead of large ones. When getting out of a vehicle, step, don't jump. When possible, use handrails, handles, anything that will help you keep your balance. Never run, Forrest.

 

Eating


Let Them Eat Cake! Unless They Can’t.
Be aware of allergies, special diets, and other particulars of your guests’ gustatory governing. Encourage those with special dietary needs to contribute to the food fest before the day before the day. Everyone should enjoy the meal, and being prepared will help everyone do just that.


Keep Your Cool—and the Food’s Too.
Improperly stored food can present several hazards, from mild food poisoning to an ER visit, which is unfortunate because Santa is definitely out of your network. 


I Pity the Food . . .
Let the stress of the perfect dinner go. Elsa would, you should. Let it go. You don’t have to prepare everything from scratch, nor are you obligated to make everything everyone wants. Make the dishes you want to make, but don’t be afraid to take shortcuts. The holidays are meant to be enjoyed. And everyone will enjoy it-- even if the pumpkin came from a can. 

 

Pets
 

Doggone . . .
Have a plan for your pets. Some people will not be comfortable with your loving pooch or cat . . . or support peacock. Having a safe space for your pet to crash whilst the guests are there is a good idea, for the guests and the pet.

Puppy Not-So-Love
Too much activity can upset Poochie too. They need their downtime and can be stressed out by too many people. 

Wag the Dog
Caution guests about petting your animals as well as feeding them. There are certain foods that certain pets just should not have. It can be dangerous, even fatal. Follow your vet’s guidelines and let guests know that stuffing the fur baby with holiday treats is off limits. 

We hope these tips serve you well as you serve, host, or simply spend time with your family and friends this holiday season. Be safe! Happy Holidays!