Our neighborhood has our version of the Griswalds. They really decorate for Halloween, but as soon as November rolls around, they begin converting their decorations to Christmas themes. Rain or shine, on the weekend they have ladders up and wires run all over the place. They do seem to take their time to do it right. When I go by there, ladders look to be set correctly and no one is reaching out from the ladder, they have it set directly in front of the work location.
As we move into the remaining weeks of the year, we tend to participate in activities and work that only occur in the last six weeks. It would be easy to overlook the little things, but it would be a better idea to think about the potential hazards and take the right precautions.
- Outside decorations. Many people hang lights or other decorations on the outside of their homes. Make sure you use the right type and length of ladder. Don’t overextend it, set it to the right angle, and remember three points of contact.
- Outdoor electrical decorations. If you have decorations outside, you need to make sure you are using the right electrical wires and plugs. Protect electrical components from moisture and use only items that are approved for outdoors.
- Indoor electrical decorations. The big things here include running extension cords and plugging too many things into one outlet. Many modern lights and decorations run with cool LED technology, but there are still lots of electrical decorations that run hot. You need to protect against burns and the potential for fire if a hot bulb is too near something flammable.
- Cut trees. There are several approaches to keeping a cut tree hydrated while you keep it in your home. If you do have a tree and then travel, consider taking the tree out of your home before you leave.
- Candles. One year we had a fired in our house. My parents had a wood cabinet in the family room, and the top was decorated with pine roping and pillar candles. The pine had dried out and caught fire as one of the candles burned low. The fire was put out before anything burned besides the cabinet. We only burn candles in glass jars now.
- Traffic. Shopping, errands, airport runs to pick up family, all put you out in traffic more than usual. And frequently at times when traffic is crazier than normal. We don’t go out the day after Thanksgiving anymore. Nothing is happening that can’t wait, and no savings worth the additional hassle. People are stressed, and that’s when they make mistakes.
- Food. Different kind of watch out here, but this is as important as any. Not only is it important that you manage your calorie intake, but you also need to be paying attention to food handling. Keep preparation surfaces clean, cook meats thoroughly, and use common sense with storage and re-use.
This is a great time of year for so many people, don’t let the energy of the season lead you to take shortcuts or make a mistake that could snowball into a problem.
Thanks, and let’s be careful out there.
Anna at abdpbt is responsible for the effort to Fight Listless Mondays. Find other list links on her blog. Her lists and the others linked there always give you something to think about, and may even make you smile!