Holiday Safety Tips: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

As you hustle and bustle this season to find the right gifts, attend parties, decorate the house and prepare holiday treats and meals, don't forget safety.

As you hustle and bustle this season to find the right gifts, attend parties, decorate the house and prepare holiday treats and meals, don't forget safety. A safe holiday season may be the best gift you give (or receive) this season and even have a life-impacting effect on you, your family, and friends.

No one wants a tragedy to be the reason we remember this holiday season. We want to remember it for the special moments, gatherings with friends and family, traditions and good food. I hope this holiday safety checklist will help provide the gift of safety to you and those around you this season.

Deck the halls...


  • Check all extension cords and holiday lights for frays, loose connections or damaged plugs.
  • Don't overload extension cords.
  • Avoid using outdoor lights or lighted decorations inside or indoor lights, lighted decorations and indoor extension cords outside.
  • Unplug or turn off all lighting decorations before going to bed or leaving the house.


Trees and plants

  • If you prefer a real tree, buy a fresh tree. If needles are falling off, the tree is too dry and should not be purchased.
  • Leave a fresh tree outside until you're ready to decorate it.
  • Place the tree in a cool area of your home, away from heat sources or where it could get knocked over.
  • Check and fill the water level of a fresh-cut tree daily.
  • Make sure toxic holiday plants, such as holly and mistletoe, are out of reach of children and pets.


Fire safety

  • Keep flammable items away from fireplaces and temporary heaters.
  • Avoid leaving burning candles unattended. Keep them away from flammable materials and make sure they are in an area where they won't get knocked over.
  • Check to make sure smoke detectors and their batteries are working. (Smoke detectors make great gifts!)
  • Be prepared by having an operable fire extinguisher readily available. (Fire extinguishers make great gifts too!)

Out and about...

Shopping and gatherings

  • Stay alert while shopping and always walk confidently.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash by paying for gifts with checks or credit cards.
  • Use the trunk of your car to keep purchases out of sight.
  • Volunteer to be the designated driver at a holiday party.
  • After the holidays, don't put empty boxes out for garbage, which advertise gifts received. Instead, break down boxes and put them in a recycle bin, trashcan or dumpster away from your home.



  • Lock doors and windows when leaving your house. Avoid leaving your drapes open where presents may be seen.
  • Unplug all unnecessary electrical items, such as table lamps, electric heaters and small kitchen appliances.
  • Make your house look lived-in if you are going to be away for an extended period. Use automatic timers for lights, ask a trusted friend or neighbor to occassionally park in the driveway, and stop delivery of mail and the newspaper.


This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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