Winter days are upon us, and while you prepare for Santa’s arrival (and the in-laws!), don’t forget to keep your house nice and cozy with a quick safety check. Our “12 Days of Christmas Home Safety” will ensure that things stay merry and bright for you and your family, right through the New Year. So get out those snow shovels, warm up the fireplace, and leave some cookies for the elves.
On the first day of Christmas, Aftermath said to me “Keep a fire extinguisher handy.”
Whether in the kitchen, at the table, or around the Christmas tree, fires are more common during the holidays than any other time of the year. Not only are people more distracted, but there are many more potential risks. To learn more about fire prevention during the holidays, check out this comprehensive article from HomeLogic.
On the second day of Christmas, Aftermath said to me “Use safety ladders.”
The stockings are hung by the chimney with care – and so should everything else! If you’re putting up lights outside or setting your angel on top of the tree, make sure to use the right ladder to reach the appropriate height. If you don’t own your own or can’t borrow from a neighbor, some hardware stores offer ladders for rent. Be sure to double check the equipment before use, and follow all guidelines, like those suggested here.
On the third day of Christmas, Aftermath said to me “Dress for warmth.
It goes without saying that winter requires proper attire. Whether you’re walking to the mailbox or driving to the mall, bundling up is critical in severe weather. Blizzards, car trouble, and other unexpected situations can mean dire straits without winter gear. Beyond hats and mittens, layer for extra warmth, and don’t forget to have a good pair of boots. For suggestions on how to prep for frigid temperatures, check out this advice from Wikihow.
On the fourth day of Christmas, Aftermath said to me “Buy a fresh tree.”
According to the National Fire Prevention Agency, one out of every 34 fires involving Christmas trees turns deadly – that’s almost four times as often as any other type of fire. To keep your tree healthy, follow the suggested water ratio, trim or remove dried or dead needles, and never leave a lit tree unattended. For more tips involving trees, you may also want to pay avisit to the NFPA website.
On the fifth day of Christmas, Aftermath said to me “No Stressful things!”
It’s a tall order when you’re busy, but setting aside time to take a break and enjoy the season can not only increase your enjoyment of it, but it can renew your spirit, too. If everything is coming up bahumbug, don’t be afraid to say no to an invitation and indulge in some personal time. Regroup, and follow some sage advice for a happier, stress-free holiday.
On the sixth day of Christmas, Aftermath said to me “Check your lights for safety.”
Frayed wires and overloaded circuits are common causes for Christmas electrical fires. Also be sure that you are using the proper lights for your space (check the voltage as well as the intended indoor/outdoor designation). Finally, be sure to shut off all lights after the little ones have gone to bed – not only will you be safer, but your electrical bill will thank you in January!
On the seventh day of Christmas, Aftermath said to me “Watch pots a boiling.”
Cooking is second only to Christmas trees when it comes to starting fires. The old wives tale may caution that a watched pot never boils – but it also never causes a safety problem. Don’t give into the temptation of multi-tasking. Use timers and supervise all kitchen activities.
On the eighth day of Christmas, Aftermath said to me “Give your hands a washing.”
Clean hands save lives. It can also save you a trip to the doctor during the jolly part of the year. Visit the CDC website to refresh your memory on this basic task and avoid the cold and flu this holiday season!
On the ninth day of Christmas, Aftermath said to me “Clean your dirty chimney!”
As you snuggle by the fire, remember that your chimney also needs care and maintenance. Professionals recommend that you have your vents and flue checked once a year. Chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning are serious risks. To learn more about maintaining a healthy home fireplace, follow these cold weather tips.
On the tenth day of Christmas, Aftermath said to me “All sidewalks shoveled.”
If you plan to leave your home before spring, chances are you’re going to have to shovel snow at least a few times this season. In some areas, not shoveling can lead to fines as well as potential lawsuits from injuries. If you are not able to perform the job yourself, consider contracting a landscaping company or enlisting a neighbor or local kids to help. And remember: throwing down icemelt or litter on slippery spots isn’t enough. Get the facts about deicing and non-slip products on this helpful website.
On the eleventh day of Christmas, Aftermath said to me “Keep your kitchen tidy.”
Remove clutter, and clean and prep ahead of time. Not only will this keep you from cutting corners, but it will also save you time and energy the day of your event. Furthermore, you will increase free space for all the extra goodies! Get started with some tricks and tips on the Simplebites website.
On the twelfth day of Christmas, Aftermath said to me “Don’t use real candles.”
In the windows or on tables, nothing is more welcoming than a warm candle. Nevertheless, open flames and a busy atmosphere can lead to disaster. Electric or battery powered flames look authentic without the additional risk and mess. If you must use candles, be sure to keep an eye on them, and don’t allow them to burn for more than a few hours at a time. Learn more about candle traditions and safety here.
Wishing you a safe and happy holiday seasons, from your friends at Aftermath Services.