For many, the holiday season is filled with festive activities including cooking, decorating, and travel plans. The buzz and excitement can make it easy to forget that the holidays bring on a unique set of safety concerns. Taking the following precautions will keep you and your family safe throughout the holiday season.
Food handling is always important, and especially when preparing food for guests. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides the following food safety tips:
- Always use a food thermometer to make sure meat is cooked to a safe temperature
- Refrigerate food within two hours
- Thanksgiving leftovers are safe for four days in the refrigerator
- Bring sauces, soups, and gravies to a rolling boil when reheating
- Cut leftover meat into small pieces so they will chill quickly
- Wash your hands frequently when handling food
What’s not to love about a deep-fried turkey? Although delicious, turkey fryers can pose a serious threat if caution is not used. Always use fryers outside, in a well-ventilated area. As with any cooking oil, make sure it is the proper temperature. Remember to never use water to extinguish a grease fire, as it will spread. Instead, use baking soda to fight any flames.
The Holidays are a great time to make sure fire alarms are properly working, and that your fire extinguishers are in an easy-to-access place. Before hanging lights on your tree or home, make sure to inspect the strands for fraying or cracked bulbs. Properly dispose of any damaged strands of lights, as they pose a serious hazard.
Always hang stockings in a safe location, away from any heat source including a fireplace or candles. Remember to unplug your tree and other sources of light each night during sleeping hours. Keep an eye on candles, especially around small children.
Although plants like Poinsettias are a staple for the holiday season, some types are poisonous and should be kept out of reach of children and pets. Always keep the Poison Control Center number on hand in case of emergency. They can be reached at (800) 222-1222.
Decorations and gift wrap on the floor can be a serious trip or fall hazard, especially to the elderly. Keeping a clear walking path throughout your home and to all exits will help prevent trips and falls. For additional information, the National Safety Council has a great article on preventing slips, trips & falls for Older Adults. Read more here.
Many people are required to travel during the holidays. Automobiles have the highest fatality rate of any major form of transportation. According to Injury Facts, in 2013 alone, 343 people died on New Year's Day, 360 on Thanksgiving Day and 88 on Christmas Day. Alcohol-impaired fatalities represented 31% of these fatalities.
Always use a designated driver to make sure you and other guests get home safe after a holiday party. Ensure that everyone in the vehicle remains bucked up throughout the duration of the ride, no matter how short or long the trip may be. Make sure the driver remains free of all distractions, including cell phone use.
Peak holiday season travel can be stressful. Allow yourself extra time for car trips and time at the airport so you are not in a rush. Leave early, pack wisely, and be prepared for unexpected delays. Being flexible with your schedule is helpful when flying.
If you plan on having guests stay in your home, make sure to have proper night lights in case they need to get up in the middle of the night. Always remember to keep medications in a safe spot, away from children.
Keeping these tips in mind throughout the season will ensure you will keep your loved ones and your home safe. If you have any maintenance or safety concerns, read our blog on how to best get your concerns addressed.
Gulf Coast Property Management hopes you and your family have a memorable, and safe holiday season.
Hungry for more? Check out the two blogs below or visit our Owner Resource Center here to find answers to all of your questions. Or give us a call at (941) 782-1559, we'd be happy to answer any questions you may have.