The holiday season always presents an opportunity to hold get-togethers, make new memories, and celebrate traditions. These events offer the benefit of seeing friends and family but involve a large amount of preparation. Without a doubt, the days leading up to the event will be filled with an excess of cooking, cleaning, and decorating. However, in the fuss of gearing up for a holiday meal or party we often forget to prepare for safety and holiday hassles. When preparing for your holiday gathering, consider the following tips:
1.Don’t get burned by candles
Candles make beautiful holiday decor and can add special ambiance to a gathering. However, their beauty shouldn’t distract you from thinking of fire safety. When using candles, don’t place them in high traffic or reach-across areas. Additionally, avoid placing candles where they may be kicked, hit with an elbow, or anywhere near flammable materials. Instead of decorating your entire home with small candles, one large candle in a visible but out of the way area will work. Protective candle holders with high sides add an extra layer of safety, and can give you more peace of mind that using free standing candles. Don’t leave lit candles unattended; if you use candles during your holiday meal extinguish them before the last person leaves the table.
2.Get ahead of germs
No one wants to be sick during the holidays. Regardless, having visitors in your home means you’ll be exposed germs. Use antibacterial spray or wipes to clean all touch points in your home such as door knobs & door frames, drawer & cabinet pulls, light switches, faucets, and the refrigerator door handle. Additionally, sanitize commonly used devices like remotes, keyboards, and game controllers.
3.Avoid the sink
With the increase of traffic into your home during the holiday season, your kitchen sink is bound to be used more than normal. A garbage disposal is a wonderful machine, but has its limit. To avoid an emergency call to the plumber, have guests dump excess food into a double lined waste bin. If you want extra insurance against garbage bag leaks, line the bottom of the bin with old newspaper or paper grocery bags. Your pipes will thank you in the morning!
4.Prep your emergency cleaning kit
Like it or not, holiday spills are inevitable. Accidents are even more likely when your home is full of guests who don’t have enough elbow room at the table. Help prevent permanent damage to carpets, floors, and furniture by prepping an emergency holiday cleaning kit. Place extra cloths, carpet cleaner, and what you prefer to use for removing red wine/cranberry sauce in a bucket or basket. Add in a small dust pan, broom, and mop. Store this emergency kit in an easily accessible location. This will not only give you peace of mind, but it will save time when tackling spills. Additionally, others can quickly take charge of the cleaning if you’re not available.
During the holiday season lights and extra small appliances can monopolize electrical outlets. Unfortunately, this means cords will run across high traffic areas, like walkways, and create trip hazards. Avoid potential injuries by purchasing cord covers beforehand or tacking/taping cords along base boards or the floor.
Using cords also means using electricity. To eliminate shock hazards, check cords for worn spots or exposed wires. Discard these, or treat appropriately with electrical tape.
6.Remember your pet
Holiday decorations are beautiful but can be dangerous for pets. If you have a pet that likes to chew, avoid glass decorations. Additionally, make sure to place decorations out of your pets reach and avoid decor that is small enough to pose a choking hazard.
Natural decor can also be dangerous for your pet. For example, poinsettia, holly berries, and pine tree needles may be harmful to pets. Use caution when placing these around your home.
The outside of your home is just as important as the inside! Before guests arrive check porch hand railings to make sure they are secure. Additionally, clear your steps and porch of ice, clutter, and debris. Finally, check outdoor lighting; a well lit outdoor area allows tripping and slip hazards to be seen easily.