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12 Days of a Safe Christmas

Gift exchanges with friends and loved ones and an abundance of delicious food and drink, Christmas is a time to celebrate, indeed. A lot of preparation and planning goes into making the holiday season special, and we want everyone to revel in this festive time.

Perhaps what is overlooked during this busy time of year are the potential health and safety risks both at home and while travelling. We’ve compiled a few helpful reminders.
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On the first day… Prepare your home for the holiday season. This means making sure your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detectors are working and batteries in each are fresh. If you’re staying at a hotel or at a relatives’ home, be sure you’re aware of the exits.

On the second day… If you’re stringing lights outdoors on your house or garage and using a ladder, be sure you have someone with you to secure the ladder. Ladders can easily slip on uneven ground or on ice and snow. And don’t leave extension cords laying across sidewalks, stairs and driveways.

On the third day… Are you travelling to celebrate the holiday season with family or friends? If so, you’ll want to have a roadside emergency kit in your vehicle. Blankets, candles and matches, a small shovel, a road map, a whistle, jumper cables, a tow rope are just a few of the things you should have on hand. You never know what you might encounter on the highway during a Saskatchewan winter. It’s best to be prepared.

On the fourth day… Keep up to date on the weather forecast and be sure to check the Highway Hotline if you have travel plans. You don’t want to come face to face with a blizzard or to be half way through your trek to learn of a highway closure. Be sure to plan ahead.

On the fifth day… The holidays are more enjoyable when you’re healthy. Being run down with an illness will throw a wrench into your visiting time with friends and family. Plus, no one likes being around someone who is battling the flu or a cough. The best way to prevent illness is to get a flu shot. If you do get sick, try to keep a distance from others to prevent the spreading of germs.

On the sixth day… What’s your plan in case there is an emergency like a fire? With an abundance of lit candles and extra lighting in people’s homes during the holiday season, the chances of a fire are increased. Make sure you and your family have a plan to safely evacuate your house.

On the seventh day… Keep an eye on those candles. It’s likely there will be increased traffic in homes during the holiday season with family and friends visiting, so it’s more likely those candles can be bumped from their perch on a table or ledge. And if they’re the centrepiece at your dining room table, make sure the candle is tall enough to not burn any decoration that circles it. All candles should be blown out before you go to bed or leave the house.

On the eighth day… Your tree needs to be sturdy. If you’re decorating a real tree make sure it’s not close to a stove, heat vents or space heaters, or candles. Artificial trees can still be a safety hazard, especially if they tip and fall or knock a lit candle to the floor. Make sure decorations on your trees are out of reach of youngsters.

On the ninth day… Be sure all indoor and outdoor lights have been certified by a recognized organization. Check the light strings and extension cords and do not use any that are frayed or have exposed wires. Never run electrical cords through doorways or under carpets. Remember to turn off lights before going to bed or leaving the house.

On the 10th day… Be sure all toys are safe and appropriate for children. Follow age recommendations and beware of possible choking hazards, sharp objects, etc. Check Health Canada’s website for recalls and alerts.

On the 11th day… Don’t forget about your pets. Make sure they’re fed and watered, too. And be sure they don’t get their paws on baked goods and other sweets and candies. Chocolate is almost like a poison for dogs.

On the 12th day… Be mindful of what you’re eating and drinking. Try your best to not over-indulge and be aware of any potential allergy risks with food you’re unfamiliar with. And do not drive if you have been drinking.

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