The holiday season is here! While it ‘tis the season to be jolly, it also, unfortunately, is the season of increased risk for sustaining a personal injury. To enjoy your holiday at home, and not the hospital, follow these 25 holiday safety tips to keep you feeling merry all season long:

  1. Inspect your electrical decorations

    Bare wires, cracked sockets, and loose connections could cause a serious shock or start a fire.

  2. Stay in the kitchen when cooking

    According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), the leading dates for home structure fires caused by cooking were Thanksgiving, Christmas day, and Christmas Eve. 

  3. Blow out your candles

    Never leave candles unattended!

  4. Let a trusted friend know your itinerary

    In case anything happens on your holiday excursion, let a trusted person know where you’ll be at all times. You should also give him or her your contact information and the contact information of a family member.

  5. Wear your seatbelt

    In 2016 alone, seat belt use in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 14,668 lives.

  6. Drive on the defense

    Motor vehicle collisions are almost completely avoidable. Never drive drunk, reduce your speed during inclement weather, and don’t drive distracted. Remember, distracted driving isn’t just being on your phone; according to these car accident lawyers, it includes eating, playing with the radio, grooming, reaching for something, or talking to other passengers.  

  7. Do your travel preparation homework

    Did you read the weather report? Get your car inspected? Pack appropriately? Check your emergency kit? Refill your prescriptions?

  8. Stay active

    While it is tempting to refrain from any kind of physical movement, getting regular exercise is proven to help improve your mood and maintain overall health. Consider a family walk to get everyone moving!

  9. Water your plants

    Dry plants, including your Christmas tree, could be a high-risk factor for starting a home fire.

  10. Check before you buy

    Ensure your holiday gifts are safe for loved ones by checking the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s latest recalls. Some materials, such as lithium batteries and small toy parts, post the risk of explosions and choking hazards.

  11. Give yourself an extra 15 minutes

    An extra 15 minutes of buffer time can help reduce holiday stress. Stress can lead to a lack of attention when walking, driving, or performing potentially dangerous activities.

  12. Prepare poultry correctly

    Avoid food poisoning by following these food preparation tips from the National Safety Council.  

  13. Lock up

    Ensure all doors and windows are properly closed and locked before leaving your home. If leaving for an extended period of time, consider talking to a trusted neighbor to check on your home and retrieve any packages!

  14. Don’t post your travel plans or pictures until after you return

    It may be a way to get “likes”, but it could make your home a target for thieves and home invaders.

  15. Put your prescriptions away

    The holiday season often means hosting loved ones at your home or traveling to other loved ones’ houses. Keep prescriptions out of reach of little ones and guests by storing in a private location in your home.

  16. Make an appointment with your doctor

    Schedule your yearly physical and eye exam to help recognize any potential health risks!

  17. Check your fire extinguisher

    Ensure it is full and you and your family are trained on how to properly put out a fire.

  18. Don’t use a makeshift ladder

    Avoid standing on chairs and furniture as this increases the risk of sustaining a serious personal injury. Invest in a step ladder to safely reach items or help your family with decorating.

  19. If you see something, say something

    Unfortunately, crime rates have been known to go up during the most wonderful time of the year. Be alert and report any suspicious activity to your local law enforcement.

  20. Don’t overload electrical outlets

    Plug only one high-wattage into each outlet at a time to avoid a holiday fire.

  21. Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

    Ensure they are functioning properly and you have backup batteries.

  22. Shop with friends

    Shopping or running errands with friends is not only a great way to socialize, but also an easy way to stay safe. Avoid driving alone or at night to large shopping centers, and always keep your items/gifts/valuables out of sight when leaving your car unattended.  

  23. Make an emergency plan

    In case a fire, natural disaster, or other unforeseen event happens, make a plan with your loved ones on what to do and where to meet.

  24. Know potential poison dangers

    Holly berries, poinsettias, mistletoe, and amaryllis plants can cause serious side effects and endanger the lives of children and pets. Ensure you keep these greens away from any and all curious kids and critters.

  25. Keep projectiles in the trunk

    When driving from one place to the next, ensure hot foods, large gifts, or any other projectile is stored safely in your trunk. You may need to stop abruptly!

Employing these 25 holiday safety tips will make your season merry, bright, and most of all, safe for you and your family. Enjoy the most wonderful time of the year wherever you may be!