While the holidays are a time to spread good cheer, they’re also a time where you may be left crying, “Oh no!”  Here’s a list of 5 watch outs and some tips to avoid making this holiday season memorable for the wrong reason.
  1. Over the river and through the woods.  According to AAA, over 43.4 million Americans hit the roads last year for Thanksgiving.  With gas prices continuing to decline, why not drive?  More people on the roads mean more of a chance for an accident.  Checking tire pressure, topping off fluids and conducting regular maintenance before hitting the road is a sure way to make it to your destination safely.
  2. While you’re away, the cat burglar may play.  It’s a cold reality that we need to accept.  Before leaving the house or your business, check all doors, windows and openings to ensure they’re locked properly.  Keep lights on and use timers if needed.  Consider installing an alarm or surveillance system and if it is in your budget, hardwire it to a local station.  A few extra dollars now may give you the peace of mind and save you from an insurance deductible, plus the time to replace what was taken. 
  3. Fried everything is better… sometimes!  According to the National Fire Protection Association, deep-fryer fires are responsible for five deaths, 60 injuries, the destruction of 900 homes, and more than $15-million in property damage.  While fried turkey is amazing, it may be better for your cholesterol and your home to use a more traditional method.
  4. Burn baby, burn!  Fireplace inferno!  Who doesn’t love a nice glass of something while watching the enchanting flames of a fireplace?  But if the fireplace hasn’t been serviced properly or the fire was built incorrectly, the experience can turn foul.  The Chimney Safety Institute of America estimates that roughly 24,300 residential house fires and 10 deaths occur each year from chimney and fireplace fires.  Having your chimney swept and flue checked each year, using dry seasoned wood (6-12 months old), and creating a Top-Down burn are all ways to reduce your chance of your fire spreading where you don’t want it.  Also be sure to properly remove excessive ash build up, only when cool of course!
  5. Dashing through the snow. Yes that white stuff that shall not be named is pretty for a little while when it’s untouched.  But then reality hits and we have to deal with it.  It is important to shovel, sand and salt properly; even more so when you invite people to your home or business.  Purdue University published some tips on preventing your risk of falling:Wear appropriate footwear to increase traction on ice and snow.
  Wear over-the shoe-ice cleats Remember to take them off when inside since they can damage floors or even be more slippery on tile or terrazzo.
  Walk on surfaces that have been cleared or treated if possible.  Avoid taking shortcuts.
  Slow down and take shorter steps so you can react to a change in traction more easily.
 Avoid carrying heavy or awkward loads; use shoulder straps on bags and backpacks to keep your hands free for balance and to use handrails when walking on stairs.
Wear gloves to keep your hands warm and out of your pockets for balance.

Posted 5:59 PM

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