Holiday Safety Tips
A Comprehensive Resource

The holidays are best enjoyed at home, not in the hopistal. Brush up on the do's and don'ts of holiday safety with this statistically driven guide of holiday safety tips.

Common Holiday Hazards

Watch out for your kids. Kids get excited, especially concerning a new place, new people, or new experiences. Many locations aren’t as childproof as your own home.

  • If you’re travelling or you’re a guest, you’ll have to be alert for potentially dangerous food, drinks, household items, toys, tools, choking hazards, etc.
  • Don’t wait to clean up after a party. Kids or pets could get to hazardous alcohol, food, or decorations before you do.
  • Poinsettias are poisonous to man and beast; keep them far from children and pets.

Be alert for fire hazards. Most residential fires occur during winter, and it’s easier to get careless when you’re caught up in good company.

  • Never leave sources of fire or heat unattended.
  • Never use charcoal- or gasoline-fuelled devices indoors.

Step aside for professionals and experts.

  • Leave the fireworks to the professionals.
  • Leave the grilling to the veteran barbeque-ers of the family.

If you’re decorating,

  • Assemble, clean, and inspect the location and all of your tools and equipment first.
  • Never block exits.
  • Never use damaged accessories, cords, lighting sources, etc.
  • Never overload on electrical outlets or cables.
  • Ensure your holiday lights aren’t damaged (frayed, aged, cracked, etc.)
  • All outdoor electrics should be plugged into GFI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets for extra protection.
  • Always opt for non-flammable material (whether for Christmas trees, Halloween or Carnival costumers, Easter decorations, etc.)
  • Never leave fire or heat sources unattended.

Seasonal Safety

Dress and behave according to the season. Stay warm in cold temperatures, and cool down in hot environments.

Prepare and guard yourself according to the activity.

  • Whether you’re swimming or snowboarding, trick-or-treating or hunting for chocolate eggs, and running the risk of hypothermia or sunburn or drowning or firework explosions… be sure you know the basic rules and safety precautions for whatever you do.

Check and prepare the fireplace before using it.

  • Never burn wrapping paper, which could cause flash fires.
  • Keep all decorations and flammable objects at least a few feet away.
  • Always use a sturdy and large metal screen.
Did You Know?
Candle Fires Are Rampant During HolidaysChristmas, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Day are the top 3 days of the year for candle fires. (2) Children At High Risk for Electrical AccidentsAccording to the CPSC, 70% of child-related electrical accidents occur at home, when adult supervision is present. (4) Winter is Fire SeasonThe number of children injured or killed in home fires more than doubles during the winter months.(2)
Action Items
  • Always practice extra safety precautions in an unknown setting.
  • As always, but especially in an unfamiliar setting, protect your family’s wellbeing as well as your own.
  • Dress according to the season and the activity.
  • Keep your hands and your kitchen spotless.
  • Plan ahead to ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday.
  • Share travel plans only with a select (trustworthy!) few.

Safe Travels

Plan ahead. Know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. Download the latest GPS data or obtain a new map. Check for construction detours, and consult the weatherman.

Let a trusted person know where you are and leave them an itinerary and your contact info.

Never inform strangers of your travel plans.

Create the illusion that somebody’s always home (see Home Safety Tips for more security tips and ideas)

If you’re driving, keep these holiday safety tips in mind:

  • Never drive under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or distractions.
  • Buckle up—yourself and your family; use the car-seat for small children.
  • If possible, travel by day. Quite simply, it’s safer. If you’re worried about traffic congestion, get a very early start or avoid the hours when most folks drive to and from work.
  • Keep a breakdown kit (spare tires, jumper cables, fuses, flares, flashlights, blankets, etc.).

If you’re flying or using public transportation…

  • Travel with a buddy (or a few); there is safety in numbers.
  • Always travel with a trusted source. The airline or bus or train company (as well as any middleman company being used) should be familiar and trusted.

Don’t carry too much cash or valuables on your person; don’t look like an expensive target.

A Very Healthy Holiday

Avoid smoking and second-hand smoke.

It’s a good time for your regular check-up and vaccinations. We typically interact with more people during holidays, increases our chances of catching infections along with those hugs.

Always practice your good judgement. That happens when you’re sober, and not under the influence of anything else.

Drink responsibly.

Stay active, and get regular exercise.

De-stress! You already know stress isn’t healthy. Here’s a few tips to fight it off:

  • Make time to sleep and eat properly
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Enjoying the people and living in the moment
  • Pre-plan as much as possible; whatever you can do today, don’t leave off for the "big day"
  • Have a lot of back-up plans
  • Make time for exercise
  • Settle on a positive attitude no matter what goes awry

Hearty and Harmless Holiday Food

Wash your hands often. You come into contact with plenty of people, and you’re handling unusual things (it’s not every day you’re setting up the Christmas tree).

Avoid cross-contamination; separate raw food from cooked food.

Cook at the proper temperature.

Thoroughly wash raw food (fruits and vegetables). Having a food safety training is one easy way on learning the proper food handling especially if you're in the food service industry.

Refrigerate leftovers promptly. Don’t leave perishable food out for more than a couple of hours.

Thaw meat in the fridge, not the counter.

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and limit sugary and alcoholic and fatty food intake.

Stuff with care. If you’re stuffing a turkey or any other meat, prepare the stuffing and then insert it immediately and loosely. Whether it’s cooked inside or outside the main meat, be sure to cook it to at least 165 degrees F.

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