Play it safe this holiday season

Staff Reports

Don’t let your power strips look like this!

The Ho-Ho-holidays are upon us, so let’s all keep them merry and bright by placing safety at the top of our “nice” list.

Outlined below are a few ways to make sure your holidays are safe for you and your family.

Travel tips: For those holiday trips to visit family and friends make sure your car is in good shape, brakes have been checked, tires are aired up, and windshield washer fluid is full to be prepared for any ill effects of winter weather.  Make sure all passengers are buckled up, cell phone is put away where it cannot cause a distraction and an emergency roadside kit is stowed in the trunk along with a couple of extra blankets, ice scrapers and bottles of water.

Remember never drink and drive. Identify a designated driver or have a plan to use a cab or car service.

Decorating tips: When decorating for the holidays make sure you have the right tools, including the correct ladder and step stool. Never use a chair or other furniture as a step stool, as they are not designed to balance weight and broken bones are not on anyone’s list.

Always make sure to read the manufacturer’s recommendations on electrical items and not exceed the recommended number of light strings, which could overload the system. Check for wire damage and do not use if wires are exposed, or if any bulbs are broken. Be sure not to overload power outlets or surge protectors.

Fire safety tips: Never leave candles burning when not home.  Make sure all candles are clear of drapes, decorations and other flammable materials. Make sure your fireplace is in good working order, never leave a fire unattended and after cleaning out fireplace ash, place in a fireproof container until you are sure all embers are out before disposing.

While these are all tips most of us know, in the hustle and bustle of the season, sometimes it is easy to take a shortcut or simply forget to make safety a priority. For these and other important safety tips on a variety of holiday topics, visit the National Safety Council’s website.

From all of us at Williams, “Happy Holidays and stay safe out there.”