‘Tis the season for stringing lights, lighting fires, and driving through snowstorms. Keep your holiday traditions from becoming holiday tragedies with the help of these home safety tips.

December holiday season by the numbers

Did you know that 250 injuries a day occur during the holiday season? Whether the injuries stem from falling off of a ladder while clearing the gutters or hanging Christmas lights, or whether it’s burns from holiday baking or incorrect fireplace usage, it’s important that the holidays don’t distract you and your family from keeping safe.

  • 230 home fires per year start from Christmas trees
  • 40% of traffic-related deaths during the holidays involve drunk drivers
  • 50,000 home fires are started by electrical problems every year
  • 23% of vehicle crashes each year are weather-related


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8 tips for a safe holiday season

Ladder safety: check the stability of your ladder before hanging lights or clearing the gutters. Have someone at home when climbing a ladder in case you need help.

Holiday lights: turn off holiday lights before you leave the house or go to bed. Standard lights can get hot; LED lights stay cool. Never leave unattended candles burning .

UL listed lights: look for the certification mark of safety (like a UL listing) on all electrical decorations. Be sure to check the condition of your electrical ornaments or holiday lights to ensure they are in good condition.

Candle safety: only place candles on a heat-resistant surface out of reach from kids and pets. Better yet, invest in flameless candles that operate with a battery.

Fire extinguishers & smoke alarms: locate your fire extinguishers (make sure you have at least one near the kitchen and one near the fireplace) and make sure your smoke alarms are functioning. In fact, December is a great month to change out the batteries and purchase carbon monoxide detectors as well.

Fire escape plan: make an emergency fire escape plan with your family and practice it. Be sure kids know what to do in case of a fire.

Driving in the snow: when driving in the snow, drive slowly and keep your distance from other cars. Have a car emergency kit in your trunk filled with water, dry food, extra blankets, snow shovel and traction like cat litter.

Designated driver: always have a designated driver when attending holiday parties. If you can, simply take a taxi to your party so you don’t even have to worry about driving. Spending money on a hired car is always worth it compared to the danger of driving while intoxicated.