new years party safety
Christmas can be a wonderful time of the year, but it can also be a time for accidents.
  • Keep Real Trees Watered: The combination of shorts in electrical lights and a tinder-dry tree can be deadly. Keep your tree well-watered. Water levels should never get below the base of the tree. Unplug lights before watering.
  • Sockets and Outlets: Water and debris can get into outdoor sockets, so make sure outdoor lights are plugged into a ground fault circuit interrupter outlet to reduce the risk of shorts and shocks. Hire a licensed electrician if you need to install GFCI outlets. Make sure you only use one plug per outlet and do not exceed the wattage rating for the outlet.
  • Extension Cords: Keep an eye on extension cords, as they can occasionally overheat. Just touch-test the cord. If it’s hot, unplug it. When running extension cords along the ground, make sure to elevate plugs and connectors with a brick to keep snow, water and debris out of the connections.
  • Turn Christmas Lights Off: Don’t leave Christmas lights running when you go to bed at night or when you leave the house.
  • Keep an Eye on Candles: Make sure you don’t leave your candles unattended, or burn them close to other decorations. Consider using the battery-powered ones.
  • Walkways: Keep on top of removing wrapping paper, toys, boxes and other debris from walkways.
  • Scissors and Knives: Some gifts that come in plastic clam shells, Aunt Tami’s overzealous tape jobs, and others with plastic fasteners may require a knife or a pair of scissors. Make sure to use knife safety principles and don’t let children use them.
  • Lights on for Guests: If you have overnight guests, keep a light on in hallways to allow them to navigate to the bathroom without tripping.
  • Fireplaces: Keep trees, wreaths, greeting cards, and the wrapping paper away from and out of the fireplace as they can quickly ignite. Use a screen to contain any flying sparks.  Make sure your chimney has been swept if you haven’t used it in a while.
  • Batteries: Take all batteries out of decorations before storing them. Have some spare batteries available for electronics. Don’t leave batteries sitting on the mantle, by the fireplace or near stoves or open flames.  The heat can spark them or make them explode.
  • Food: Don’t leave food out on buffets for hours on end, no one wants food poisoning as a party favor. Cover and refrigerate anything that could spoil within an hour. Keep kids and pets out of the kitchen when cooking (hot stoves, knives, trip hazard potential). Make sure you take allergies and dietary restrictions into account.
  • Alcohol: Try to keep track of what you take in and make sure you count any puddings or foods that contain alcohol into your calculations.  If you have multiple events to attend, try to give your liver a day’s break between them.


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