Enjoy a Safe and Happy Holiday Season
While you are “decking the halls” this holiday season, make sure you take steps to avoid household accidents that can land you or a family member in the hospital. Good Shepherd’s Safety and Security Department offers the following tips to make sure your holiday season is “merry and bright.”
- Place your Christmas tree at least three feet away from heat sources.
- Never dispose of tree branches or needles in a fireplace.
- Inspect all strands of lights for frayed wires, bare spots, broken sockets and excessive kinking.
- Position bulbs away from anything flammable.
- Do not overload electrical outlets.
- Never link more than three strands of lights.
- Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into a wall outlet.
- Periodically check wires and make sure they are not warm to the touch.
- Do not leave indoor or outdoor lights unattended while leaving the house or sleeping.
- Never use an indoor extension cord outdoors.
- Don’t leave candles or menorahs burning unattended; make sure you put them on a stable, heat-resistant surface and keep them away from flammable objects, including presents.
- Your fireplace, chimney and flue should be kept free from ashes, soot, plastic and metal.
- Never use lighter fluids to start a fire.
- Use starter logs, kindling and long wooden matches to start fires.
- Always keep fire screens and glass doors closed.
- Keep flammable decorations away from fireplaces.
Avoid Slips and Falls
- Wear proper shoes with a good grip when the ground is slippery.
- Test areas that may be slippery with your toe first before putting your entire weight on the area.
- Use handrails if they are available; keep your hands free for balance when walking on slippery surfaces.
- Be wary of “black ice”: wet asphalt can be slick even if it does not appear to be icy.
- Take your time and use small steps for stability if an area is wet or icy.
(from the American Ladder Institute)
- Don’t use a ladder if you are tired or dizzy, or if there are high winds or rain.
- Wear slip-resistant shoes.
- Inspect the ladder to make sure it is in good working condition before you use it.
- Choose the right size ladder for the job. The length should be sufficient so that you do not have to stand on the top rung.
- Place the ladder on firm level ground.
- Only one person at a time should use a ladder (unless it is designed for multiple users).
- Don’t use a ladder in front of doors that can be opened towards it.
- Do not overreach or lean while working.
- Use a towline, tool belt or an assistant to carry materials so that your hands are free when climbing.
- Don’t jump or slide down from a ladder.
The staff of Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network wishes you a safe and joyous holiday season!