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holidaydisasterpreventionExcerpted from an article by Andrea Davis for realtytimes.com

“The holiday time is supposed to be a time of enjoyment, relaxation and love between family and friends.  But it only takes one accident to turn your holiday celebration into a holiday disaster.  Here are a few essential tips to ensure your holidays go off without a hitch…

  1. Keep Your Overnight Guests Comfortable.  There’s nothing more relaxing and rejuvenating than a  hot shower – especially during colder weather, so be sure to set your water heater to a comfortable temperature if you’re having guests stay overnight.  Many water heaters have a factory setting of 140 degrees, but dropping down to 120 degrees will still provide a warm shower and help you avoid scalded guests and  high utility bills.
  2. Clear Your Driveways and Walkways.  Slick or poorly lit walkways can be hazardous to grandparents, older aunts and uncles and young children.  Remove snow and treat icy conditions before your company arrives.  Provide adequate lighting.  Security lights and solar-powered lamps lining your walkways will help.
  3. Decorate Responsibly.  Holiday decorations can quickly turn a celebration into a disaster – so avoid:  flammable decorations (paper/lace/fabric) – candles (there are 11,000 candle-related fires each year) – water your tree (your tree can also pose a fire threat.)
  4. Kennel Your Dog.  Find a safe place for your dog if it doesn’t do well with visitors or small children.  Small children are particularly susceptible because they don’t always know not to make sudden movements or poke fingers and hands at dogs’ faces.
  5. Be Smart and Attentive in the Kitchen.  Be sure to safely prepare your food – always cook chicken and turkey until it reaches an internal temp of 165 degrees to destroy all bacteria and food borne illnesses and prevent your guests from getting sick.  Never leave your kitchen unattended while in use – cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and related injuries.
  6. Prevent Drunk Driving.  If you have spare bedrooms, offer the additional space to guests.  You can also prevent over indulgence by limiting the amount of alcohol served ruing holiday gatherings.

SOURCE:  Andrea Davis  is the editor for HomeAdvisor.


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