12/08/2010

Saftey Tips to Remember Through the Holidays

We all know the the holidays are a fun and festive time. However, it is important to keep your family happy, healthy, and safe. The best way to avoid having to use an emergency fund and save money is to prevent accidents from happening. Here are brief safety tips to keep you all safe around the home, while shopping, and traveling this season.


Home:


General Decorating:
  • Be sure to inspect all tools and materials before starting with the installation process.
  • If using a ladder, check the condition of rails, rungs, and brackets before positioning or climbing it. Be sure to have a spotter to steady the ladder and to pass materials and tools.
  • Holiday decorations should not block exits.
  • When setting up a tree, keep it away from fireplaces and space heaters. Be sure not to block any exits and keep the tree out of the way of traffic.
  • Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the US. Be sure to keep an eye on the holiday cooking while attending to your guests.  
Lighting:
  • Take the time to unroll/untangle and inspect each set of lights new or old for  bare/frayed wires, broken or cracked sockets and loose connections. If you find them, don't try to repair them. Throw them away or return them to the store. They are an electrical and fire hazard.
  • Be careful not to overload electrical sockets
  • Turn off or unplug your indoor holiday lighting whenever the decorated area of the house is unattended -- not just when going to bed or leaving the house.
  • Never use electric lights on metallic trees. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and the person touching it could be electrocuted.
Children's Safety:
  • Keep young children out of areas where decorations are being installed.
  • Avoid ornaments that resemble candy or food that may tempt a small child to eat them.
  • Make sure to read the labels for age appropriate toys. Look for toys that have parts which cannot be removed easily
  • Beware of balloons! Small children can choke or suffocate from the balloons being inhaled.
  • Watch children and pets around space heaters or the fireplace. Do not leave a child or pet unattended.
Shopping:


General Shopping:
  • Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member. Stay in well populated areas. If you have a cell phone make sure that it is charged and carry with you in case of emergency.
  • Dress casually and comfortably and avoid wearing expensive jewelry. Not only will you feel more comfortable shopping, but you will be less of a tempting target for thieves. Leave the bulky purse at home.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings.  Flustered, angry, tired, or people who are rushing don't have an eye on what's going on around them. Your packages or the next big thing on your list may be important, but pay attention! Avoid overloading yourself with packages so that you have free range of motion and visibility.
Shopping Online:  


  • Shop at secure sites-




  • Research the websites before you order




  • Read the websites privacy and security polices




  • Be aware of cookies and behavioral marketing




  • NEVER give out your social security number




  • Disclose only the bare facts when you order




  • Check the website address




  • ALWAYS print copies of your orders




  • Learn the merchants cancellation, complaint, and return polices




  • Use shopper's intuition




  • Be wary of identity theft




  • Travel:


    General Travel:


    • Make sure to plan ahead before you travel anywhere. A good thing to have in your car is an emergency kit. A few are pre-made and on the market, but you can easily make your own. Include: 
    1.  Fire extinguisher
    2.  First aid kit,
    3. Jack and lug wrench
    4. Jumper cables
    5. Disposable flash camera
    6. $10-15 dollars in small bills and change
    7. Gloves
    8. Pen and paper
    9. Food and water
    10. Rain poncho and blankets
    • Matain at least half a tank of fuel when traveling. It may seem like a lot, however if you can't stop for gas it's a lifesaver.
    • Develop the habit of scanning while driving and being aware of potential problems.
    • If involved in a property-damage collision in an unfamiliar or potentially unsafe location, do not open or exit your vehicle. If you have a cellphone, call the police. If not, acknowledge the accident by hand signal, and motion the other driver to proceed with you to a safe location (where there are other people and light) to exchange information.

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