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COCOGEN's Christmas Safety Tips
February 04, 2021

The holidays invite all sorts of fun activities and family gatherings, from lighting Christmas candles, to hanging up decorations, to cooking up delicious noche buena for the whole family. However, in between preparing for the Christmas feasts and festivities, there are a lot of small details that can go unnoticed that can lead to an unwanted holiday headache. Here’s how to keep your house and family safe from fire and injury. Christmas Lights Christmas is the season of lights! Nothing brings a family together like Christmas decorations. Before you start breaking out the boxes, keep these tips in mind before you deck your halls with boughs of holly: > Make sure all your decorations are either flame-resistant or non-combustible. > Buy battery-powered candles instead of real ones as much as possible, especially when using them as decoration. > If you do use real candles, make sure to put them in sturdy holders and well away from your furniture and other decorations, especially your Christmas tree. Don’t forget to put it out before you go to sleep or when leaving the room. > Avoid buying breakable decorations, those with small parts, or anything that looks like candy as they pose a choking hazard for young children.
Christmas Tree You can have all the lights, the parols, and other festive ornaments, but without its towering centerpiece, your decorations will never be complete without the Christmas tree. However, it can also be the centerpiece of disaster inside your home. As a precaution, buy a fire-resistant Christmas tree which is marked with the following label: Whether it’s a real or artificial tree, make sure to use a sturdy stand so that it’s not in danger of accidentally falling on children.Keep your tree well away from heat sources such as TVs and candles and out of the way of foot traffic like doorways, hallways, and exits. Holiday cooking Food is a huge part of Christmas celebrations so it’s really no wonder that fires from unattended stoves made it to our holiday hazards list. As much as slaving over a hot stove isn’t a comfortable idea, you have to stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling, or broiling food. If not you, have someone else in the house to keep an eye out. If you have to leave the kitchen and can’t call anyone, turn off the stove or set it on low heat and keep any flammable items (oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper towels, plastic bags, aprons) away from the flames.
Burglars The holidays tend to bring a lot of people together, families, friends, and sometimes, strangers. From salespeople, carolers, delivery personnel, to even some unsavory characters pretending to be any one of them. This time of the year, it’s important to always have the presence of mind and exercise extra caution when dealing with strangers. Always remember to ask for proof of identification for any personnel claiming to have an appointment at your home. Keep a schedule of repairs with the corresponding name of the company assigned personnel which you can ask for as you’re scheduling it with their customer support. If you have to leave the house on the scheduled appointment, call ahead to have it moved or inform someone of the pending appointment. At night, make sure to lock all your windows and doors and keep your valuables (or wrapped gifts) well out of sight from your windows.
Electrical short circuits (or overloads) Christmas decorations can help your household embody the holiday spirit, however, when not installed or set up properly, can be an electrical hazard from your home. A good rule of thumb to go by is to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions before taking them out of the box. If you’re planning to decorate outdoors, make sure that what you’re buying has been properly rated for outdoor use.Look for the color-coded UL mark on the packaging. Green means for indoor use only. Red is for both indoor and outdoor use. For outdoor decorations, always use Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) outlets.Each extension cord should connect a maximum of 3 light sets. Any more and your risk overloading the circuits, creating a fire risk. As for the cables, you can run them along the walls but never under carpets, rugs, or doorways where the wiring can be damaged and exposed by furniture. Use proper clips when securing a path for them along the walls as staples and nails risk damaging the cords. The holidays are a great opportunity to enjoy time with family and friends, celebrate life, to be grateful and reflect on what’s important. It can also be the most wonderful time of the year as long as you stay safe. Be sure to take every precaution you need in order to fully enjoy the holidays or better yet, get in touch with us today and ask us how our general insurance products can protect you and your loved ones all-year round! *** The author of this article contributed in their own personal capacity. The views expressed are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of COCOGEN Insurance.