The Christmas lights are up, the tree is decorated, and the smell of cookies is in the air. The holidays are here! Whether you are traveling for the holidays, or staying at home to entertain friends and family, below are some tips to help make your holidays safe and bright.


  1. Travel
    1. Cell Phones. We say this all the time in on our blog, but it bears repeating, as too many people ignore this rule when driving. PUT THE CELL PHONE DOWN!!!!! Distracted driving is any activity that takes your focus (and your eyes) off the road. If you have to answer a call or text while driving, pull off the road into a rest area.
    2. Seat belts. Everyone in the car must wear a seatbelt, no matter how short the distance.
    3. Cars. Be sure your car is properly maintained. Before leaving the house for the holidays, be sure that your tires are ready for long distance traveling, and managing snow. Keep an emergency kit in the car that contains items such as flares, extra cell phone chargers, tools, food, water, and an emergency blanket. Don’t forget to lock your car when not in use.
    4. Social Media. Avoid posting photos on social media of your holiday travels. Nothing is more inviting to thieves than to see a post advertising that your home is currently unoccupied. Consider posting the photos after you return home from the holiday adventure.


  1. Avoid the Gift of Food Poisoning
    1. Always wash your hands when dealing with food to avoid food poisoning. Don’t forget to sanitize areas of your kitchen that come into contact with raw food items, such as eggs, meat, and poultry.
    2. Be sure to refrigerate food within two hours of the meal. Cut turkey into small pieces, so that it will refrigerate properly.
    3. A word about turkey friars…The National Safety Counsel reports that one of the most common causes of holiday house fires are turkey friars. Since 2002, there have been 168 reported incidents related to turkey friars. We encourage you not to fry your turkey. If you do have an interest in fried turkey, seek out a professional establishment that serves the dish.


  1. Lights and Decorations
    1. Check Christmas lights for frayed or exposed wires, wire breaks, and broken bulbs prior to use.
    2. Be sure that your tree gets plenty of water every day. A dehydrated tree can be a fire hazard.
    3. Keep plants out of reach of small children and pets. This is particularly true for nightshade plants, like poinsettias, which can cause poisoning when ingested.
    4. Use a stable stepladder for hanging decorations and trimming the tree. Avoid using chairs or other furniture.
    5. Don’t burn candles when you’re not in the room. Make sure that candles are on a stable surface and are properly fitted into candlesticks.
    6. Avoid lighting real candles on the tree. This is a fire hazard for your home, especially if your tree is not properly hydrated.
    7. On the big day, keep the floor clear. Remove wrapping paper, toys, boxes, and decorations out of the main thoroughfare. These objects can be major tripping hazards.


Have a safe and happy holiday season!

Image result for holiday snow scenes
Image: Shutterstock
This article is not legal advice. For legal advice, call Graham & Mauer, P.C. today.