There's no happier time of year than the holidays.  Warm fires, delicious meals, beautiful decorations, and much more make the holiday season joyful.  No one wants this wonderful time to be tainted with house damage, illness, or injuries, but there are certain risks associated with this time of year.  To keep your family happy and safe this holiday season, follow these tips.

Check All Electronic Decorations for Damage

Many fires over the holidays are caused by old, rusty, frayed and damaged electronic decorations.  Before you put any lights on the tree or house, check all of the sockets, wires, and plugs for damage.  Small instances of damage can usually be fixed easily like wrapping a slight bit of bare wire with a good amount of electrical tape or replacing a broken light bulb, but any decorations with significant damage should be replaced.

Keep the Tree Safe from Fire

Christmas trees are a massive fire hazard.  They're frequently placed close to fireplaces and candles, they're decorated with old lights that may have damaged wires, and failing to water the tree properly could result in a massive blaze.

All Christmas trees, real or fake, should be placed at least three feet from any heat source.  You should also water the tree every morning since dry trees are much more susceptible to fire than lush ones.  Trees in houses with fireplaces might dry out quicker and require more frequent watering.

Don't Leave Presents in Plain View

The holidays are a favorite time of year for most people, including criminals.  The rate of burglaries spikes during the holidays because people typically have piles of presents by the tree or brand new, expensive gifts out in plain sight.  Keep your blinds closed, and place gifts away from windows and doors to avoid the eyes of wandering criminals.

Be Mindful While Baking and Cooking

In many homes, the stove and oven are constantly running during the holidays to make delicious feasts, cookies, pies, cakes, and much more.  In addition, there are a lot of holiday festivities that direct your attention elsewhere while cooking. Keep a close eye on anything you're cooking or baking, even if it takes several hours to cook.  If there are children in the house, teach them proper kitchen safety habits, and never leave them unattended in the kitchen when there is food cooking.

Check the Age Ratings on Toys

Millions of toys are given as gifts to children across the globe every holiday season, but they can be very hazardous.  Many toys have small parts that can be choking hazards for very young children.  Electronic toys, in particular, should be given with caution since tiny button batteries not only create a choking hazard, but they can cause extensive damage to a child if they remain in their bodies for too long.  Always check the recommended age range on any toy you give to a child, and supervise them whenever they're playing with their toys.

Keep Poisonous Holiday Plants Away from Children and Pets

There are many beautiful and festive plants to decorate your house with during the holidays such as holly, mistletoe, amaryllis, Christmas rose, Jerusalem cherry and poinsettias.  However, these plants are toxic, and they present a hazard to young children and pets.  Keep all plants out of reach of children and pets.  In case of ingestion, contact poison control immediately.

Ornament Safety

Dainty glass and porcelain ornaments can be very beautiful, but they are easy to break.  Broken ornaments create a safety hazard for anyone who might accidentally walk on the broken shards.  If you have children or pets in the house, it's best to use ornaments that aren't breakable.  Any breakable ornaments should be kept near the top of the tree to avoid accidentally being knocked off.

 

The safe and warm feeling of the holidays is very easy to protect.  With some mindfulness and a little extra care, you'll be able to enjoy the holiday season without a single worry on your mind.