Holiday Safety Part 2 of a 3-Part Series (Featuring Guest Blogger Angela Burrell of Universal Services of America. To see her original post, click here.) As a courtesy to our guest, I have dispensed with my usual “firedogisms” in this post, but will resume my canine commentary in next week’s blog.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, home holiday decorations cause more than 400 holiday fires each year, resulting in $15 million in property loss and damage. Nothing is as sad as a news story about a child dying in a Christmas tree fire or a father falling off of a ladder while decorating the exterior of his home. As our holiday gift to you, we would like to offer some tips to keep you and your loved ones safe this holiday season.
Last week, we examined safe practices for choosing, displaying and decorating Christmas trees as well as working with holiday paper. For part two of our series, we are happy to welcome guest blogger Angela Burrell, who is the public relations manager for our strategic partner, Universal Services of America. Her blog post covers holiday workplace safety home safety guidelines, and basic safety rules. Next week, we will conclude our three-week series by focusing on holiday travel, shopping and cooking.
Universal Services of America reminds you to keep the following safety and security tips in mind as you celebrate the holiday season. Regift them to family, friends, colleagues, co-workers and building occupants to let them know you care. Happy holidays!
Seven Workplace Alerts
- Report all solicitors or suspicious persons to security immediately.
- Be suspicious of unfamiliar people claiming to be repair persons, as thieves are apt to disguise themselves.
- Make sure your receptionist clears any workers or contractors before allowing them into your office.
- Question visitors who wander throughout your offices. Legitimate guests will appreciate your offers of assistance, while potential solicitors or thieves will be deterred.
- Lock all personal items in a desk or file cabinet. Employees should never leave purses or wallets exposed where they can easily be stolen.
- Close doors when the office is empty, and secure all valuables in a desk or closet when unattended.
- Request a security or buddy escort to your car if you are working late and feel vulnerable.
Seven Basic Fire Rules
- Fires peak, particularly in kitchens, during the holidays – so remain alert when preparing meals and keep potholders and food wrappers at least three feet away from heat sources.
- Monitor candles and fireplace fires, and extinguish them before leaving the house or bedtime.
- Test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, ensuring that they work at optimal level year-round. Replace batteries, as needed.
- Know where your exits are located and hold regular fire drills that include practicing at least two evacuation routes from every area or building.
- Notify the property manager about exit lights that are broken or vandalized.
- Never prop open self-closing doors, as they are designed to keep flames and smoke from spreading.
- Keep exits and stairways free from obstructions at all times. Don’t store things on or under stairways, or on landings.
Six Home Safety Guides
- Refresh your holiday lights; consider buying energy-efficient LED types that are cooler than conventional incandescent lights.
- Limit the number of lights strung together and use appropriate ones for outdoors or indoors.
- Turn off lights or decorations before bedtime, or set automatic timers for six or eight-hour increments to conserve energy.
- Consider installing motion or lighting sensors that turn off automatically when no one is around.
- Ask a neighbor to collect mail or have the post office hold it if you plan to travel for an extended period.
- Let strangers who knock know you are home without opening your door. Do not feel compelled to donate to solicitors.
Five More Tips and Resources
- National Fire Protection Association’s executive summary on Christmas tree and holiday lights.
- Electrical Safety Foundation International’s Holiday Decorating Safety guide lists many resources.
- The National Safety Council recommends several Holiday Safety Tips.
- Sign up for Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) pre-screening status to expedite the boarding process. Refer to these TSA links: Holiday Travel Tips & Travel Checklist.
Next week, check back, as we will finish our series about holiday safety. We hope that this blog post will help inform you about ways to #BESAFE this holiday season, and always, by taking necessary steps to improve your health and safety. The RJWestmore Training System by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services is a convenient and affordable solution to helping improve and save lives. Visit our website for ways proper planning can make a difference in numerous aspects of your professional and personal life.