That time of year is upon us again. The holidays are a wonderful time to have fun and make memories with your friends and family. It can also be a stressful time, which can result in forgetting small details like a candle left burning. We want you and your loved ones to enjoy the season the safest way possible, to ensure that happens we’ve compiled a list of safety reminders.

FRESH IS BEST: If you opt for a real tree always choose a fresh cut tree as they are less likely to become a fire hazard. Always ensure your tree has enough water, and keep it away from candles, heat vents, fireplaces or any other heat sources.

ALLERGY ALERT: If you plan to host a holiday party or family gathering make sure you double check if your guests have any allergies in advance. You certainly don’t want anyone ending up at the emergency from trying one of your holiday cookies!

KEEP AN EYE ON BATTERIES: What parent doesn’t spend Christmas morning putting together new toys? When putting batteries in new toys, or in animated holiday decorations, make sure you keep your eyes on the new and old batteries at all times and discard them immediately. Many young children die every year after ingesting batteries.

MERRY AND BRIGHT: Always do a thorough inspection of your holiday lights. Discard any lights that have frayed cords, broken bulbs or loose connections. Remember to also turn off all holiday lights when you leave home, and before you go to bed at night.

LADDER SAFETY: The scene in Christmas Vacation when Clark is having trouble with his holiday lights might seem funny in the movie, but it is no joke in reality. Ensure you are using the proper ladder for the job and be extra careful when working on a ladder. Make sure it is sturdy and sitting comfortably on the ground (not on ice, snow, uneven ground etc). It is always a smart idea to have someone hold it so it is extra secure.

CHECK THOSE ALARMS: The holidays are a very popular time of year for house fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Take the time to ensure all alarms are working properly. This is a good time to review your family fire safety plan.

SMALL TOYS: Double check all toys from Santa and family members to ensure they are age and developmentally appropriate for your children. Many toys with small parts are not suitable for children under the age of three as they are a choking hazard. Make sure your older children also don’t leave small pieces laying around that siblings might get a hold of.

DON’T OVERLOAD OUTLETS: The holidays are the deadliest time of year for electrical fires. Keep in mind you should never plug in more than one extension cord or power strip per socket.

HOLIDAY VACATION: If you will be heading away over the holidays make sure you prepare your home as to not attract burglars. Have timers set up for your lights, if possible have a neighbour check in and keep an eye out for anything suspicious and don’t post pictures of your vacation on social media WHILE away. Another tip is to ensure all your children are with you (cue Home Alone joke, I couldn’t resist!)

ROAD TRIP: Many of us do a lot of travelling via car over the holidays (think parties, family gatherings, shopping trips etc). It’s important to have your vehicle prepared incase inclement weather hits. This includes snow tires, extra windshield washer fluid, never letting gas tank get below ¼ of a tank and keeping an emergency kit in your vehicle. Check the weather conditions before heading out, if bad weather is on its way the best option might be to stay off the roads entirely. Don’t forget to bring drinks, snacks, an extra set of clothes, a blanket and a few games or toys to keep the kids entertained.

ARRIVE ALIVE: Always make sure there is a designated driver at any event involving alcohol. Plan ahead and know who will be driving or if you are taking an Uber etc.

From all of us at Safety Tree, we wish you and your family all the best over the holidays, and a very Happy New Year! We look forward to teaching your children in 2020.

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