Thursday, July 27, 2017

Stay Safe!

November 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog

 7 Tips to Avoid a Shocking Holiday Season 

As we (believe it or not) move closer to the holiday season, we begin thinking of planning family gatherings, meals and gifts for the ones we love.
 
One thing I hope you do every year is a pre-holiday safety check. This can help you avoid some of the “unfortunate memorable moments” such as smoking ovens, dangerously overloaded outlets or the impromptu family opportunity to pretend you “live off the grid” and do shadow puppet shows by candlelight.
 
Here are a few things to consider as you prepare your home for winter and holiday entertaining.
 
1. When was the last time you cleaned your oven? Thanksgiving dinner is a terrible time to discover that your oven needs cleaning, has a temperature setting that is not correct OR that it doesn’t work at all!! Consider purchasing an oven thermometer to make sure your oven is baking at the same temperature you think it is! If it has been awhile since you’ve cleaned your oven, microwave or broiler, what better time to make an afternoon of it. Put on your favorite music and have a personal oven cleaning party!
 
2. This month daylight savings ends. Most fire departments suggest that when setting your clock to standard time, also replace the batteries in your smoke/carbon monoxide detectors.
 
3. Check your fireplace! The beginning of the season is a great time to call your local chimney sweep for an inspection to make sure your chimney is safe. Before you burn, make sure the flue is open and do take care if using fire salts, which produce colorful flames when thrown on a wood fire. These contain heavy metals and should be kept out of the reach of children and pets.
 
4. Remember that yummy treats for people could be poisonous to pets. Chocolate especially is dangerous for dogs and cats. Additionally, macadamia nuts, avocado, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, chives and Xylitol (an artificial sweetener) are all very dangerous for your pets and should not be shared with them under any circumstances.
 
5. If you’re not used to having children around the house and your guests will include children, take some practical measures to keep your breakables and the kids safe. While parents will do their best to keep an eye on junior, your home may be very tempting to explore and with all of the activity, his every move may not be noticed. Make sure scissors, sharp objects and choking hazards are out of reach. If very small children will be visiting consider using plastic socket covers to keep little fingers safe.
 
6. If you are traveling for the holidays, be sure to set your burglar alarm. Don’t discuss your plans casually with strangers and be sure to have a trusted neighbor keep an eye on your home.
 
7. If you’re using a portable heater, be sure to keep your heater a safe distance from flammable items such as draperies and carpets. Do not use an extension cord to plug in an electric heater. There have been many recent recalls of portable heaters. Go to  www.cpsc.gov and check for your model to be sure it has not be recalled.
 
And finally if you need someone to hang that new overhead light so your thanksgiving table is perfectly lit, or you want to install a dimmer switch, consider hiring an electrician. Working on electrical wiring is tricky. That’s why you should only hire a licensed electrician to make sure that the job is done correctly and safely.
 

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