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The holidays are right around the corner, and you may be looking forward to a well-deserved break and some quality time with family. As you’re preparing for the festivities, it’s important to make safety a priority, especially if you’ll be traveling. Here are a few steps you can follow to keep yourself and your family safe this holiday season.
If you’re traveling by car for the holidays, make sure it’s in optimal condition before hitting the road. If it’s due for an oil change, make sure that happens before your trip. If you live in an area where it’s advised that you use snow tires, be sure to get those put on. If you’re using all-season tires, check to see if they have sufficient tread (you will typically want to replace them if the tread is less than 2/3 of an inch). You also want to ensure that the tire pressure is sufficient, and that your battery, wiper blades, and wiper fluid are optimal. And be sure to keep your tank at least half full in case the temperature drops suddenly to avoid a gas line freeze.
The holidays are a busy time, and taking care of yourself can sometimes be difficult. But if you’re going on a car trip, it’s important for you to be well rested. If possible, try to get your packing and any other chores or errands done as early as possible the night before so you can have a good night’s sleep. If you start to feel drowsy while driving, pull over and take a break or let someone else drive. It’s better to be a few minutes late than to put yourself in danger.
For many families, decorating their home is one of the most enjoyable holiday traditions. But it’s important to follow basic safety protocols when deciding how to deck the halls. Be aware of fire hazards. If you’re decorating outdoors, keep anything electrical in a covered area where it’s not likely to get wet. And be sure to keep flammable materials away from lights and other decorations that can get hot. Be aware of where you place tinsel, strings of beads, and other decorations that a child or pet could get tangled in. Use battery-powered lights instead of candles with flames.
When preparing the holiday meal, follow food safety practices. With the busyness of the celebration, it’s often easy to get distracted. But remember to return perishable ingredients to the refrigerator, keep raw meat away from other foods, and wash your hands after handling it. Do not leave a stove or oven that’s turned on unattended, and be sure children aren’t allowed in the kitchen unsupervised while food is cooking.
The holidays are a time to enjoy being with family and create lifelong memories. And by following a few simple steps, you can ensure your holiday season will be safe, as well as fun.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law