Holiday Personal Safety Checklist

Most people don't equate holidays with a safety checklist. Yes, road safety is often emphasized by authorities, but holiday fun is in the offing, and most people think safety admonitions are for careless people who don't know any better. That said, there are a few instructions to keep in mind, even for the most conscientious among us.

1. Keep a close check on what sort of alcohol you consume or are serving.

Many times people have preferences for certain alcoholic drinks, and are well-aware of how much they can imbibe safely with that particular beverage. However, holidays are times to try something new! The bad news is that the unfamiliar alcoholic item can sneak in serious intoxication, causing potential falls or vehicular accidents and court appearances. Just say no to the unfamiliar, and provide transportation for guests who may have imbibed too much holiday cheer.

2. Check the Jack-O-Lantern or Christmas candle for personal safety.

Open flames are ornamental, especially flaring from scented candles or glaring from a pumpkin face. They can also be deadly. Consider switching to battery-powered candle light.

3. Keep small batteries secure for holiday safety.

Toddlers and pets like to pick up small items and taste them. The next thing you know, someone has swallowed a battery. Button batteries can kill children and pets. If the battery becomes stuck in the esophagus severe damage can occur in 2 hours.

4. Avoid falls for holiday safety.

Falls are the leading cause of accidental home death. Nearly 60,000 deaths per year result from fall injuries at home. Don't become one of these statistics. When putting up lights or a holiday tree, use a proper ladder or step stool. Do not use an available chair or couch.

5. For holiday safety, stay in the kitchen while cooking.

Unattended cooking is a leading cause of fires in the home. Stay with your meal until you serve.

6. Checklist electrical cords for safety.

Cracked or bare wire cords left over from last year can cause a fire or cause a child or pet to be severely burned. Pets and children chew on available items, including available cords. Make sure cords are out of reach and in good condition.

7.Wash your hands for holiday safety.

Keep yourself free of viruses and food-born illness with frequent hand-washing.

8. Clear away party debris before bed

Children and pets are notorious early risers. The next thing you know, someone may have eaten a cigarette butt or drained a glass of alcohol.

9. Check who's at the door for personal safety.

Are those happy trick-or-treat children standing on the patio? The visitor may be someone unfamiliar and poised to ruin festivities. Be vigilant.

Delete stress expense from your holiday checklist.

Festivities may include extensive shopping and preparing the home for guests. Making sure everything is 'just right' is an endless battle, and may not even be noted by gift recipients or guests. Save yourself from the holiday stress expense.

Enjoy the holidays, but don't forget to stay safe! 

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T.J. Smith, Attorney at Law
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