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Holiday Safety Tips to Share with Your Residents

The holidays are stressful all on their own. The last thing you want to do is worry about safety, but you can't ignore it. By following these holiday safety tips, you can help keep your home and residents safe during this busy time of the year.

Fire and home safety

Fire is one of the biggest risks to your tenants over the holidays. Here are a few ways they can keep the property (and themselves) safe.

Inspect anything electric for physical damage

Frayed or broken electrical cords can easily cause a fire hazard. Check anything, especially strings of lights, for damage before using them. If they’re damaged, get rid of them.

Spread the cords around

Each power outlet can only handle drawing so much power. Don’t plug everything into a single outlet. By spreading it around, you lower the chance that any single outlet will fail.

Unplug things when asleep or away

If something electric goes wrong, you want to be able to respond to it. If you’re away from home or asleep, you can’t do that. For that reason, unplug your decorations before going to sleep or going out to visit friends and family.

Water real trees daily

Dry trees are a fire hazard. Watering your tree daily keeps it from drying out. If you don’t want to deal with that, then you might be best using an artificial tree.

Use battery-operated candles

Your lease may prohibit using candles, but even if they’re allowed, they’re a big cause of fires. Battery-operated ones look pretty good, especially if you’re not too close to them, so use them instead.

Keep flammable items away from heat sources

This should be obvious, but check the house to be sure. Your tree can catch fire easily, so make sure it’s not near too many power cords or sitting in front of the fireplace. This also applies to things near the oven while cooking for the holidays.

Check and clean your fireplace

Creosote buildup in a chimney can lead to fires, so have it cleaned before you start using the fireplace. Also check it for any stray things that may have gotten in there. You want to burn just firewood, not random things that may have fallen into the fireplace.

Use a screen on your fireplace

In addition to keeping things out of your fireplace, make sure things don’t get out of it. Stray embers can easily start a fire. Putting a screen over the fireplace will help keep them from getting out and causing a problem.

Keep fragile ornaments and poisonous plants out of reach

Children and pets are the most in danger of ornaments or holiday plants, like mistletoe or poinsettias, that can be poisonous. Keeping them out of reach will help prevent poisoning or injury, so make sure the most dangerous stuff is higher up.

Driving safely

traffic

Every year, millions of Americans hit the road for the holidays. Here are a few ways your residents can be safe as they head to Grandma's house.

Plan around heavy traffic

Some days are going to have bad traffic, so be prepared for that. You may not have a choice, but try to avoid having to drive on days or times where a lot of people are on the road.

Avoid driving around heavy drinking times

Are there a lot of people out drinking on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve? You might want to avoid driving at that time. Being out when other drivers are more likely to be drunk is a bad idea, so avoid it if you can.

Watch for distracted pedestrians

You should always do this, but be extra attentive around the holidays. You’re likely to see distracted people heading to holiday parties, so make extra sure to keep a look out, especially around residential areas.

Prepare your car for winter

If you live in particularly cold areas, make sure you have anti-freeze and snow tires. Some routine maintenance to make sure it’s working in its best condition isn’t strictly necessary, but can help a lot.

Get enough sleep before driving

We get it, you were up late enjoying time with family. Driving while sleepy is still a big risk, so make sure to get enough sleep. Driving drowsy can be as bad as driving drunk. If you need to drive anyway, then a short nap beforehand could help greatly.

Food safety

food preparation

What are the holidays without the food? Your residents need to follow these safety tips so everyone enjoys the holiday meal.

Wash your hands frequently

Is this one a little too obvious? It needs to be said anyway. Wash your hands anytime you switch from preparing one food to another at the least. Washing them more often isn’t a bad idea, either.

Put leftovers in the fridge shortly after being served

Leftovers should be refrigerated within two hours. Start putting them away as soon as your big lunch or dinner is over. This will keep them fresher and help prevent bacteria growth and other potential health issues.

Use multiple cutting boards

This helps to prevent cross-contamination between different foods. This is especially useful for keeping raw meat and produce separate, a common cause of food poisoning issues.

Stay in the kitchen while things are cooking

This could be both fire and food safety. Burning food can make it unhealthy or cause a fire. Staying in the kitchen while things are cooking will help keep either of these from becoming an issue.

Categories: Landlords

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About the Author
The managing editor of Apartment Guide and rent.com, Brian Carberry has more than 10 years’ experience as a content creator and award-winning journalist. Brian’s work has been featured on CNN, Search Engine Land, Randstad and a number of other organizations around the world. In his free time, Brian enjoys sports, cooking and debating the correct pronunciation of “gif.”