‘Tis the season to be jolly! Thanksgiving officially ushers in the holiday season, when many of us celebrate with family and friends from November through January 1. While no one wants to put a damper on the festivities, being oblivious to hidden holiday hazards can put you and your loved ones in danger. Fortunately, you can reduce your risk of a serious holiday mishap by knowing how to prevent the following holiday hazards which may not be top of mind during this time of year.
Gather ‘Round the Range to Avoid Fires
You may be aware that fires can start in the kitchen, did you know that according to the Red Cross, they are reported most on Thanksgiving Day? One of the best preventative measures to avoid a kitchen fire is to always have someone present in the kitchen while food is cooking. In addition, keep children, pets and flammable materials away from cooking surfaces. Also, if you are going to have an alcoholic beverage while you are using the stove (and other kitchen appliances) do so in moderation so that you stay alert.
Take Care of Food Waste Wisely to Protect Your Pipes
Cleaning up after a high-fat holiday feast and taking care of the resulting food waste can present a problem that many of us never think of: clogged sewer pipes and backups due to fat, oil and grease being dumped down the kitchen sink. To protect your home’s pipes and to reduce the risk of water damage from a sink overflow, dispose of any waste that may congeal in your garbage can or other food waste receptacle.
Deck the Halls a Little Later to Avoid Allergens
Suffering from allergies is no fun—especially over the holidays. To reduce the risk of allergy-prone individuals having symptoms due to the presence of mold (yes, mold!), you may want to wait to cut down your Christmas tree or hang your fresh greenery. Research has shown that once evergreens have been in homes for more than two weeks, mold counts increase up to eight times higher than when they are freshly cut. The result: Sensitive people can have scratchy throats, coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes and fatigue.
Look Past the Poinsettias to Protect Your Pets
Poinsettias get the most attention as being potentially poisonous for pets, you should be aware of other holiday plants which may pose even more danger. Mistletoe can cause heart problems for pets when ingested and, for cat owners, lilies are very worrisome since they can cause kidney failure. If you spot lilies in an arrangement, get it out of your home immediately and clean up any pollen residue since all parts of a lily are toxic. Another overlooked danger for pets is Christmas tree water, which can contain fertilizer as well as bacteria.
The holiday season is one of the most special times of the year—and you certainly don’t want to spend it worrying unnecessarily. With just a little bit of forethought and awareness of hidden hazards, you will be all set to enjoy every moment of your celebrations. If you do have questions about protecting your family or assets during the holidays, or at any other time of the year, please contact us. Our insurance professionals are always happy to help.
About the Author
Hallie Earl, of Marcellus, works out of our Cassopolis, MI location in our personal lines customer service department. Hallie enjoys playing house, dress-up and dancing with her daughter who is extremely active & girly (which is quite opposite of her mom). Hallie is a graduate of Marcellus High School, is an avid U of M fan and enjoys shopping, sports, gardening, and just relaxing in her spare time.