Christmas can be a wonderful time of the year, but it can also be a time for accidents.
- Distractions: The holidays and all that come with them can be a big distraction. There’s all the shopping and other errands that need to be done. Workers may be attending a lot of extra parties and may be up late at night doing Christmas decorating, wrapping or baking. Some may have finance concerns and may be doing extra as a result. Others may not have a good association with the holidays due to family issues or recent deaths. As a result of all of this, safety during work may not always be top of mind. Make an extra effort to promote safety during this time, remain extra vigilant, and have workers watch out for each other.
- Keep Real Trees Watered: The combination of shorts in electrical lights and a tinder-dry tree can be deadly. There are 250 Christmas tree fires and 14 related deaths each year, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. So keep your tree well-watered. Not only will it stay fresh and green, but it might also keep your house from burning down. Water levels should never get below the base of the tree. Avoid putting it by fireplaces, radiators and floor vents.
- Outdoor Sockets: 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.
- Don’t Overload Outlets: There are a lot of different decorations that use electricity. 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. Blow them out before you leave the room. Consider using the battery-powered ones.
- Fireplaces: Keep trees, wreaths and the wrapping paper out of the fireplace as they can quickly ignite. Use a screen to contain any flying sparks.