Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year: it’s an opportunity to spend time with family and friends, as well as a time to show off our holiday spirit. But as you’re sprucing up your home this year, be aware of common household dangers that can dampen the occasion. Read our Christmas safety guide before commencing decking your halls this season.

Be Smart About Flames

Everything looks better under the glow of flickering candlelight. Unfortunately, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day lead the charge when it comes to incidence of house fires. Never leave open flames unattended, whether candles or a crackling fireplace. Keep your children away from flames and other heat sources to reduce the risk of burn injury. Jarred candles are preferable to pillar versions when it comes to fire safety.

Use A Real Tree

It may seem counterintuitive, but real trees are actually less likely to ignite than their artificial counterparts. Be sure to keep it watered and away from any sources of heat or flame.

Deck Your Halls Responsibly

You may have the Griswold spirit when it comes to your lighting scheme, but make sure you’re not following his (lack of) safety protocols. Take some basic lighting precautions:

  • When you’re replacing old bulbs, use the same wattage recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Discard any strings with loose connections or frayed cords.
  • Set your outdoor lights to a timer.
  • Don’t connect multiple extension cords. Limit yourself to one.
  • Turn off your twinkling display whenever you leave the house and before you go to bed at night.
  • Safety-check your ladder before clambering onto your roof. Make sure it’s firmly set on the ground and doesn’t wobble.

Do a Battery Check

Most of us light our inaugural fire of the season during the holidays, so do an annual inspection of your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms. Replace the batteries as needed.

Skip the Deep Frying

Frying your turkey may make it taste better, but it’s also one of the most dangerous ways to prepare your food. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that nearly 700 people have been injured as a direct result of deep frying since 2002. Stick to roasting for a safer and more heart-healthy option.

If you’re committed to deep frying at home, follow some basic guidelines:

  • Always fry outdoors, at least 10 feet from your home and away from children.
  • Find a completely flat surface to cook so hot oil doesn’t tip.
  • Completely thaw and dry turkey before frying — even a little bit of water can send hot oil frying out of your vat.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby at all times.
  • Never handle the fryer lid without appropriate protection.

Use a Designated Driver

Your schedule is likely packed with business and personal holiday parties, so plan accordingly. Always designate a driver before heading off to an event. If no one’s willing to make the sacrifice, split the cost on a cab.

Erney Law want you and your family to stay safe while enjoying this holiday season. Call on us if you have legal questions or concerns, anytime of year.