End of year entertaining tips
It’s almost that time of the year again—of the flickering lights, winter greens and festive celebrations. It’s the time for families and friends to get together. Unfortunately, this is also the time of the year when the risk for fires is greatly increased. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the leading case of kitchen fires in unattended cooking, especially during Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. Make sure you’re doing everything possible to avoid a possible disaster following these easy steps:
- The best option would be to only choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
- Lit candles must be kept away from decorations and other items that can burn.
- Careful with lights—some are designed only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
- Replace any string of lights that have worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.
- When hanging them, use clips, not nails—this way the cords won’t get damaged.
- Blow out candles before leaving the room or going to sleep.
- Before the guests arrive, test the smoke alarms. Once the guests arrive, inform them on the home fire escape plan.
- Keep children and pets away from lit candles. In addition, keep matches and lighters in a locked cabinet.
- When food is being cooked, don’t leave the kitchen unattended.
- Prepare an area for smokers.
- Consider tying your Christmas tree to the ceiling or a door frame with fishing line—this way they won’t tip over, even if your pet climbs on them or plays with the lights and ornaments.
- Keep an eye on the electric lights as they can cause serious burns if your pet is curios enough and starts chewing on them.
- Those with cats know that shiny objects are extremely attractive and nothing will stay in their way to play with them. Beware that accidental ingestion can result in vomiting or even an obstruction of the digestive tract.
- Keep sweets out of reach as sugar and xylitol can be toxic for your puppy if ingested in large amounts.
- Never leave a pet alone in a room with lit candles—they too find the twinkling lights attractive and will wish to play with them. No need to say this can easily result in a fire.
- Prepare a comfortable, quiet place where your pet can retreat to.
- Keep an eye on the exits—even if your pet looks comfortable around your guests, it can easily make a break for it and get lost as you greet hungry guests and get their coats.
- Make sure your pet has proper identification with your current contact information. If they aren’t microchipped, talk to your veterinarian about the benefits of this simple procedure.
Leaving the house
- Unplug decorations as your pets might want to start chewing on them.
- Take out the trash, especially if it contains any food or food scraps
- Many people choose to travel by automobile, so make sure you have a designated driver to take everyone home safely after a holiday party.
- Check to have an emergency kit in the car.
- Get your car ready to go through snow and ice.
A final step to take all year round is to purchase a renter’s insurance policy.