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Dos and Don’ts to Keep You Safe This Holiday Season

As the holidays draw near, this is a great time to welcome family and friends into your home or travel to see them.  However, as the days get shorter, colder, and snowier, there are a few safety tips you should keep in mind.


12 Dos and Don’ts for the Holidays


DON’T let people know where you are going.
Although it is tempting to post your travel plans, pictures, and videos in real-time, this can be a cue to invite burglars into your home. Wait until you get home and post all media at that time.

DO tell a trusted neighbor or relative how long you will be gone.
Stop your mail, but keep your snow removal process going. Ask your neighbor to check on your home every couple of days to see if there has been any noticeable activity around it. Better yet, hire a college student to house sit while you are away.

DON’T text and drive.
If you are driving to a family gathering, keep your phone away and turn on your do not disturb indicator that notes to the texter you are driving.

DO use Uber, Lyft, or a designated driver.
As the holiday season is often a time of enjoying spirits, be sure to have a plan for yourself and your guests. Uber and Lyft drivers are now available in areas like Stow, Ohio – so go ahead and download the app and use it. 

DON’T go “Clark Griswold” on the holiday lighting.
While you may want to have lighting inside and outside of your home, do not overload your outlets and circuits with excess electricity and cords.

DO inspect light strands and extension cords for fraying, broken sockets, and cracked lights.  
Replace burnt-out lights and throw out any strands or extension cords that have broken sockets, shortages, and raveling to them. December is the deadliest month for electrical fires, so if in doubt, throw it out!

DON’T expose your pets to the holiday plants.
Many plants are given as gifts this holiday season and poisonous to our furry friends. Holly, mistletoe, poinsettia, and Christmas cactus are some of the main culprits. Set your plants up high, so cats and dogs do not consume their leaves.

DO keep a shovel and salt on hand.
Before your guests arrive and 30 minutes before they depart, be sure to shovel off the steps, walkway, and driveway. Then put some salt down, so they don’t slip.

DON’T leave candles unattended.
Be sure to blow out all candles when you are headed out or headed to bed in the evening.

DO keep candles away from decorations, trees, or curtains.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, many home fires in December are the primary way.

DON’T leave food out.
After the meal is over, be sure to put leftovers in the fridge within two hours of the meal. This will eliminate the risk of food poisoning to your family and guests. 

DO eat leftovers within four days.
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, it is best to consume all leftovers within this period and throw anything left on the fifth day. 


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