Enjoy a Safe and Happy Holiday Season

Holiday SafetyWhile 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.”

Fire Prevention

  • 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.

Fireplace Safety

  • 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.

Ladder Safety
(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!



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