staying safeA piece of giftwrap falls onto a lit candle. You catch your foot under an extension cord. Someone is hiding behind your car when you return to it after shopping. In a split second—if you’re not careful—the holidays can turn from merry to just plain scary.

Here are a few tips for staying safe this holiday season, to keep the days ahead fun and full of good cheer!

Keep your feet firmly planted on the ground

Need to put up those lights around the front door or the star on the top of the Christmas tree? Instead of climbing on a ladder yourself—even a short one—invite a neighbor or family member over to help and send them home with some freshly baked cookies for their trouble.

Keep your path clear

During the holidays, you probably have countless extension cords snaking all over the inside and outside of your house. Be sure to run those cords neatly around the perimeter of the room and secure them with cord covers, instead of across the floor or hidden under rugs where you can easily trip over them. No one wants to spend the holidays in a cast!

Keep those fires in the fireplace

Real Christmas trees are beautiful, but they can also be a fire hazard. Make sure you get a freshly cut one by asking the tree seller to pick the tree up a few inches and hit the cut end on the ground. If it’s not fresh, you’ll see a shower of needles fall to the ground. (Don’t simply look for green needles because sometimes tree sellers will color needles to make the tree appear fresh.) Even if your tree is good and fresh, put it up far away from vents, radiators, fireplaces and candles and replenish the water in the tree stand daily. Likewise, keep tissue paper, wrapping paper and tree skirts a safe distance from these heating and fire sources.

Keep your wits about you

When shopping, be sure to park as close to the store as possible. If you have to shop after dark, find a space in a well-lit area that’s also close to other cars. When you return to your car, have your keys or automatic car door opener ready, so you can get in your car and lock up quickly.

How are you staying safe this holiday season?

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