Another year is about to end, which means many are also celebrating the holidays once again. Now while this is usually the time to be in a celebratory mood, it certainly doesn’t mean we should let our guards down, especially when it comes to the safety and security of our homes.
Along with the cheer and goodwill typical of the holidays season in the Philippines, are potential accidents and dangers that may ruin it. However, keeping a few things in mind when decorating your home, leaving it for the holidays, or having some people over, will help better ensure that nothing untoward occurs, and that you and your loved ones indeed have a Merry Christmas.
When lighting up
While lights and decor are par for the course in making your home as festive as possible, so is being mindful of the condition and functionality of what you apply and how exactly you go about using them within your space.
- When buying Christmas trees and other decorations, make sure they are of the fire-resistant variety. Decorative lights or candles are a leading cause of fires during the season, often made faster by decor made of flammable materials.
- Speaking of lights, if buying new ones, always make sure to do so from licensed manufacturers/providers who follow strict quality standards. This helps ensure the lights are safe to use and can for last several holidays. Also try to opt for LED variants, as these tend to use less energy and run cooler than the iridescent ones.
- If you have existing lights and other d√©cor that utilizes electricity, meticulously inspect before use. Be mindful of damaged bulbs and sockets, loose connections, or bare wires that can cause electrical shock or fire.
- Don’t overload electrical outlets with too many lights and d√©cor, as well as the other electrical devices you use, to avoid overheating or fire. Also make sure no chords are being pinched by doors, windows, or furniture to avoid exposing any wiring.
Spending time with the kids and the pets
The holidays are synonymous with spending time with family, which includes kids for some, pets for others, or both. The home ought to be kept safe for them as well, and can be done through the following.
- Avoid putting decorative lights, ornaments, metal hooks, and other decorations small enough to be ingested on the floor of your home or on the lower limbs of your tree so they aren’t reached easily.
- Cover any unused outlets on extension cords to prevent anyone from accidentally coming in contact with live circuits.
- Avoid using decorations that are sharp or breakable. Otherwise, remember to place glass and breakable ornaments out of the reach of small children and pets.
- If your Christmas tree is of an exceptional height, make sure it is kept from the possibility of being toppled over by discreetly tying part/s of the upper half to the wall.
- Try not to light up decorative candles in the presence of children, to avoid the hazards associated with open flames, and if possible, even opt for battery operated candles.
- Fake food or waxed fruit and such other d√©cor can become choking hazards, so best to do away with them altogether or at least keep them out of reach.
Leaving home unattended
Whether it’s to go out for an hour or two to buy presents or supplies for the holidays, to return to your hometown and finish the year there, or to vacation elsewhere, you’ll likely be leaving your home unattended. Make sure your nice time away doesn’t turn into a problematic situation upon your return by keeping your place secure.
- Like at any time of the year, make sure all appliances and lights are turned off when you leave or go to sleep to prevent possible electrical or fire hazards, and also avoid extra expenses on utilities. Be doubly attentive about this during holidays, since you likely have lights and d√©cor being plugged in, and even candles lit up.
- Should you be away for an extended period, have a trusted neighbor look over your property from time to time.
- Don’t announce your plans in real time. As excited you are to go out or go home, don’t disclose too much info online, as this may also tip-off people with questionable intentions on your home. Save the social media posts for when you’re back.
- Make sure to lock-up. While you surely do this even if it isn’t the holidays, statistics have shown that robbery and trespassing are also highest during the season. So make sure all doors and windows are indeed secured, put padlocks on your gates, and stow away important items where they can’t be seen or accessed.
If you’re on the other end of the spectrum and will be staying home instead of leave for the holidays (like many surely are during the pandemic) it, of course, is still paramount to keep your home safe to ensure you and your family’s health are maintained and you indeed have a happy holidays.
- Whether you’ll have visitors or not, make sure to have a cleaning area near your doorway. This can include a rubber mat/s that can be sprayed with disinfectant for better wiping down of shoes, and a small shelf where the shoes can be placed.
- The shelf by the door can also be a spot to store some rubbing alcohol and hand sanitizers, which you or anyone who enters your home can use to clean their hands since the sink is likely isn’t immediately available.
- If you have enough space, the shelf can be a closet where coats, jackets, and other clothes worn outside can be stored. Anything you purchased can also be placed here for disinfection later.
- When having people over to visit, have your gathering outside for better air circulation, or at least arrange your home where it has the best possible airflow and that you and your visitors can also keep a safe distance from one another.
- Consider online activity. The 2020 holidays may not be the safest time to have other people over, or for you to visit their homes. Consider online activities instead, such as celebrating via video conferencing with family and friends, watching shows with them online, and even doing your shopping via e-commerce sites.
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