holiday safety tips

Keep the Holidays Happy: 5 Common Holiday Hazards You’ll Want to Avoid

We can finally prepare our Thanksgiving bibs, blast Christmas music, and enjoy coffee out of red cups because holiday season is here! While the fun we spend with our family and friends around fireplaces, Christmas trees, and dinner tables is now upon us, so are the hazards that surround them. So, it’s important to wrap your presents and your mind around these potential holiday malfunctions. After all, we don’t want the happy in “happy holidays” to be replaced by firemen and copious amounts of stress.

If you follow these safety tips, you’ll be sure to have days full of joyful celebrations instead of hazardous ones.

Online Shopping Fraud:

When our lives become busy and we can’t drive to the mall, our computer and online stores become our best friends. However, while you’re browsing the web and picking out an ugly holiday sweater, make sure you’re doing so safely.

Ways to ensure safety and reduce online shopping fraud include:
*Keeping up-to-date with your software and virus protector
*Visiting online stores you know and trust
*Creating strong passwords
*Paying by credit card
*Keeping records
*Refraining from dispensing any financial or personal information

House and Car Theft: It’s scary to think that our home or car can be invaded, so we want to make sure that doesn’t happen! When it comes to your home, make sure you always leave a light on when you leave. Hide presents out of view, or better yet, close all curtains and shades. To avoid car theft, keep it on lockdown. Don’t leave bags and packages in the back seat or in plain sight. Put purchases in the trunk and park in well-lit areas. Both your home and car should always be locked, and for extra safety matters, invest in an alarm. There’re some holiday discounts floating out there, so take advantage of them!

Social Media: We love social media, especially during the holidays. The lit-up Christmas trees, extravagant family meals, and the beautiful holiday destinations all provide social media worthy pictures and comments. However, before we make social media posts, it’s important to know what not to do. If you use a public computer, log out of accounts and never save passwords. Most importantly, do not post that you’re going out of town. Keep your whereabouts private, even if you want to flaunt it. Besides, you can always post about your latest adventures after you come back!

Cooking: Holiday cooking is one of the best parts of the season. It’s when family traditions are shared and laughter ensues. However, it can be chaotic and messy, so it’s important to practice safety in the kitchen. Before you start cooking, make sure your stovetop and oven are clean and free of grease and dust. Clean the exhaust hood and duct over the stove regularly, too. Also, it’s important to stay in the kitchen while the stoves are burning and ovens running. If you need to leave, set a timer so you can hear when the food is ready. If kids are around, keep them away from the kitchen by creating a kid-free zone. Lastly, purchase new smoke alarms. You don’t want your feast to go up in flames and disrupt the wonderful holiday aromas. However, just in case a fire occurs, know how to use a fire extinguisher and have one ready to blow out the fire before it creates a gigantic holiday blaze.

Defensive Driving: Everybody is always in a rush during the holidays; it’s easy to get caught up on the road and not pay attention to what you’re doing. Take a different route this season and become a defensive driver. Practice BBB (blinker before brakes) and don’t use a cell phone or any other electronics while on the road. Be alert, not sleepy or under the influence. Just make the time for driving safely. Life may speed up, but it’s important that you still drive safely.

We hope that this list can help you prevent holiday hazards, but we know messes happen, even when you’re prepared. So check out our car and home insurances, and if you run into a problem, visit our website http://madisonmutual.com/ or give us a call at 618-656-3410. We want you to rejoice this holiday season and be happy.

We wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas, and a hazard-free holiday year!