- Get your car serviced before any road trips, and stay safe on the road.
- Stay smart and aware as you buy gifts online.
- Follow the rules for safe food handling.
- Don’t let your live tree dry out and become a fire hazard.
- Purchase a fire-resistant artificial Christmas tree.
- Keep breakable ornaments out of reach.
- Make sure your Christmas lights aren’t a fire hazard.
- Use your fireplace wisely.
- Be conscious of candles.
- Keep your home safe while you travel with a good security system.
- Have a neighbor keep an eye on your house while you’re out of town.
- Schedule packages to be delivered when you will be home.
- Don’t share holiday plans online.
- Dispose of gift packaging discreetly.
General Holiday Safety Tips
Watch any holiday movie and you’ll know there are plenty of ways something can go wrong this season. But with the Christmas safety tips below, you’ll be one step closer to a hijinks-free holiday celebration.
1. Keep pets away from cords and poisonous plants.
Between seasonal houseplants and shiny Christmas lights, the holidays introduce many new things into your home that may be enticing to your pets. Keep your cats, dogs and other animals away from toxic plants like mistletoe, holly berries, poinsettias, amaryllis, lilies, and Christmas cacti, and keep cords or wires out of reach.
2. Get your car serviced before any road trips, and stay safe on the road.
If you have a road trip planned this holiday season, go ahead and schedule an appointment to get your oil changed and any other routine maintenance taken care of so that your car is in perfect driving condition. To stay on top of your vehicle’s health and diagnostics, consider adding CPI Drive to your car for the perfect road trip buddy.
Before you leave, pack a seasonally-appropriate emergency preparedness kit with everything you may need if you break down in cold weather. Additionally, allow plenty of extra time so you don’t need to rush, and avoid driving in snow and ice.
3. Stay smart and aware as you buy gifts online.
Shop from known, familiar sites as much as you can, provide as little information as possible at check out, only purchase from secure sites, and keep track of what you’ve ordered, when it ships, and when it should arrive. Learn more about staying safe online here.
4. Follow the rules for safe food handling.
Food poisoning can quickly ruin a holiday. Whether you’re baking holiday treats or cooking dinner on Christmas Eve, be sure to wash your hands frequently, use a meat thermometer to ensure food is cooked through, keep raw meat away from everything else, and keep cold foods refrigerated.
If you’re planning to deep fry a turkey, do it outside, away from your home.
Christmas Tree Safety Tips
According to the National Fire Protection Association, between 2015 and 2019, fire departments across the United States responded to, on average, 160 Christmas-tree related fires per year. Here’s what you can do to enjoy your Christmas tree safely this December and keep your home from becoming another statistic.
5. Don’t let your live tree dry out and become a fire hazard.
Before you bring your live tree home, have the tree vendor cut off the bottom of the trunk to expose fresh wood so it will absorb water more easily. Once you bring it home, place it in a safe, secure stand so it doesn’t fall over, and water the tree daily to make sure there is water in the base at all times. Trees should be kept away from radiators, electric space heaters, fireplaces, and candles.
Also, as fun as it is to get a Christmas tree early to kick off the holiday season, don’t get your live tree too soon, or it will be completely dried out by the time Christmas Day rolls around.
You may be wondering how to keep your Christmas tree alive while on vacation. Ultimately, keeping it well-watered is the best thing you can do. Fill your tree stand all the way up with water right before you leave, so that it can stay as hydrated as possible. However, if you’re taking a long trip, you may want to take the tree down before you leave to avoid it becoming a fire hazard while you’re gone, or ask a neighbor for help.
6. Purchase a fire-resistant artificial Christmas tree.
Did you know that some fake Christmas trees can be just as flammable as the real deal? If you opt for an artificial Christmas tree, always choose a UL-certified pre-lit tree, or use UL-certified lights. Like a real-tree, avoid placing your tree near heat sources, and always check the cords for damage or fraying wires.
7. Keep breakable ornaments out of reach.
If you’ve got sentimental, fragile, or breakable ornaments, hang them high on your tree, out of reach of tiny hands. The same goes for any other breakable Christmas decor. The last thing you need during a fun holiday celebration is cut fingers and shards of glass on the floor.
If you have small children, consider purchasing kid-friendly ornaments until they grow old enough to know not to play with or throw glass ornaments. You’ll enjoy the reduced stress from worrying about their safety, and they’ll love getting to be involved with decorating the tree!
Christmas Fire Safety Tips
Dry Christmas trees aren’t the only cause of fires each December. According to the National Fire Protection Association, electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in almost half of home Christmas tree fires.* Additionally, nearly one-fifth of Christmas tree fires started because a heat source was too close to the tree. Thus, Christmas fire safety is an important part of enjoying the holiday season.
8. Make sure your Christmas lights aren’t a fire hazard.
Always use indoor lights indoors, and outdoor lights outdoors. Each year when you decorate your home before you hang any lights, be sure to replace any old, broken, or fraying lights.
Additionally, always turn your lights off when you are leaving your house or going to sleep. Using timers or smart devices to control your lights also makes it easy to turn your lights on and off when needed.
Also, as tempting as it may be to go full Clark Griswold on your home, be careful not to overload your home’s electrical circuit with holiday lights. And on that note, always use a sturdy ladder or stepladder to hang your lights and decorations!
9. Use your fireplace wisely.
Don’t burn wrapping paper, trees, wreaths or other decor in your fireplace. If you decide to build a wood fire or turn on your gas logs, use a fireplace screen and make sure children are kept a safe distance away at all times.
10. Be conscious of candles.
Candles are an easy way to set a festive mood, but it’s important to keep safety in mind if you decide to light them. Candles should be kept at least a foot away from anything flammable, and should be in stable holders that won’t fall down. Keep kids away from lit candles, and never leave a lit candle unattended.
If you’d like to avoid the dangers of candles altogether, consider purchasing remote-controlled candles with fake flames to create a holiday ambiance without safety concerns.
Christmas Home Security Tips
Take these Christmas home security tips to heart, you can do your part to keep from being a victim of crime this December.
11. Keep your home safe while you travel with a good security system.
When you leave your home, always lock your doors and windows, and arm your security system to help keep everything safe and secure.
Smart security systems with professional monitoring services, like CPI, can help guard your home against intruders. Between smart locks that can only be used by people you want in your home, motion detectors, cameras, professional monitoring, and even smart lights that keep your home from staying dark while you’re gone, CPI Security’s products and services work together to protect your home while you travel for the holidays.
12. Have a neighbor keep an eye on your house while you’re out of town.
Enlist a trusted neighbor who can monitor your house while you are out of town. Ask them check your mail, bring any packages that get delivered inside, and even shovel your sidewalk and drive into your driveway to leave tire tracks if it snows so that your home appears occupied.
13. Schedule packages to be delivered when you will be home.
Don’t let Grinchy porch pirates ruin your holiday – have packages delivered when you will be home, or send them somewhere else such as your office or a friend or family member’s house instead.
14. Don’t share holiday plans online.
As excited as you may be to share your holiday fun with your social network, don’t post to social media about when and where you’ll be going, and wait until you’re back home to share photos online.
15. Dispose of gift packaging discreetly.
Don’t brag to would-be thieves about all the great Christmas gifts you’ve received. A giant TV box by the curb, for example, is an invitation for thieves to break into your home and take it. When you throw away packaging, break it down and hide it in trash bags so you avoid inadvertently advertising all the new, valuable things in your home.
Have a Safe & Happy Holiday!
Following these holiday safety tips will help take some of the stress of this time of year off your plate, helping you enjoy the magic of the season. From all of us to you, we hope everyone has a joyous holiday season full of love and light. For more information on all things safety, security, and innovation, visit the CPI blog to learn more.
*NFPA, “Winter holiday fire facts.”