Stay Safe this Holiday Season

Stay Safe this Holiday Season

AAA Tips to Stay Safe as you Gather, Decorate, and Cook for the Holidays
April S. Engram
Thanksgiving Dinner

Did you know that Thanksgiving is one of the top days of the year for cooking fires? The last thing you need during Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season is a destructive and potentially dangerous fire.

What can you do to be proactive against fires and other holiday-associated risks? AAA Western and Central New York shares advice on how you can stay safe for the holidays. 

 

Cooking

The kitchen is a favorite place in the home, especially during the holidays. Children want to help make your favorite dessert, others want to sneak a taste of their favorite recipe. Yet, cooking causes half of home fires. The NFPA has the following tips to stay safe in the kitchen: 

  1. Watch little ones. Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  2. Have a turkey fryer? Only fry a turkey outside, place it at least 10-feet away from your home, and do not overfill the oil in the turkey fryer.
  3. Stay in the kitchen. Never leave food unattended on the stove or in the oven and check on it frequently.
  4. Dress for cooking success. Don’t wear loose clothes and long sleeves that can catch fire and turn pan handles towards the back of the stove.
  5. Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

cooking fire hazard graphic

Decorating

Decorating your home indoors and out is a longstanding tradition – but it also comes with risks. According to the NFPA, more than two of every five decoration fires happen because items are placed too close to a heat source.

Here are tips to help you prevent holiday mishaps:

  1. Take care of your tree. Buy live trees that are fresh and green, and water them regularly to keep them hydrated. If you choose an artificial tree, make sure it is labeled as “fire-resistant.” Never use electric lights on a metallic tree.
  2. Don’t throw wrapping paper in the fireplace. Paper is highly flammable and can cause flash fires. Instead, recycle your wrapping paper or save it to be reused. Place a screen around your fireplace to prevent sparks from igniting flammable materials.
  3. Double-check your lights. Check your lights for frays and cracks, and make sure there is a bulb in every socket. Discard or replace any damaged strands.
  4. Power down before bedtime. Turn off all lights before you go to bed and set timers if you will be away from home, to prevent a short that could cause an electrical fire.
  5. Opt for unbreakable ornaments. Choose bulbs and decorations that won’t shatter and create a hazard if broken. 
  6. Stay safe outside. Keep ladders and decorations away from overhead power lines, and don’t hammer tacks or nails into electrical cords; use clips instead. Use heavy-duty extension cords that are meant for outdoor use, and don’t overload them.

AAA also reminds all drivers to avoid distractions and never drive drunk. Stay safe this holiday season with careful preparations and pre-planning, and make sure your home is protected.

 

For more information about home or renters insurance, simply reach out to your trusted AAA Insurance Agent.

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