Holiday Safety Tips

The holidays should be an enjoyable time for everyone. Yet each year, hospital emergency rooms treat nearly 9,000 people for injuries, such as falls, cuts and shocks related to holiday lights, decorations and trees.

U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 210 home structure fires per year that began with Christmas trees in 2011-2015. These fires caused more than $17.5 million in direct property damage.

The leading causes of tree fires were short circuits, ground faults, faulty cords, faulty plugs or faulty wiring as well as candles.

Here are some safety tips to remember to keep you and your family safe this holiday season.

  • When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces and radiators, out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways.
  • Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens. Always use nonflammable holders and place candles out of children’s reach.
  • Indoors or outside, always use lights that have been tested for safety and indicate conformance with safety standards.
  • Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires or loose connections and throw out damaged sets.
  • Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord.
  • Plug all outdoor electric decorations into circuits with ground fault circuit interrupters to avoid potential shocks.
  • Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire.
  • Childproof your fireplace by placing a hearth gate around it.
  • Safely dispose of the tree when it begins dropping needles. Dried-out trees are highly flammable and should not be left in a house or garage or placed against the house.

Here are four wellness reminders to help keep you healthy through the holidays.

1. Exercise
Remember to keep up with your exercise routine. Playing with the little ones outside or taking a walk after a big meal will help you not feel as full and listless.

2. Nutrition
Remember to make healthy choices during the holidays. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole grains. If you do like enjoying holiday treats, try to limit your portion size. Having a healthy snack before you go to a holiday party can help prevent you from snacking on unhealthy party food.

3. Water
Drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated. Staying hydrated can help you feel full and helps with fatigue during the holiday season.

4. Sleep
Get plenty of rest and aim for 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Becoming sleep deprived or run down can heighten emotions and make it more difficult to cope with holiday stress.

We look forward to sharing more news and information with you in 2018, helping you best manage your workplace injuries and promoting safe and healthy lifestyles for your valuable employees.