A Grandparent’s Guide to Making Your Home Safe this Holiday Season

The holiday season can be one of the most dangerous seasons for fires. It can also pose many hazards for young children.

If you’ve got grandkids visiting for the holidays, here are a few safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Make the tree beautiful and safe. Before you string the lights, check the wiring to make sure it’s in good working order and replace any missing bulbs. Consider placing small ornaments that a child could put in their mouth and choke on higher on the tree (or skip them until they’re older).
  • Cover your outlets. Little hands are particularly tempted by electrical outlets. Covers are very inexpensive and should be utilized in all rooms your grandchildren will spend time in.
  • Mind the stove. The kitchen is the heart of the home, but it’s the leading area for home fires to start. If grandkids are around, make sure you stand by and keep an eye on any pans you’re cooking, broiling or frying in. Utilize the back burners first so pans aren’t as easy to reach and institute a three-foot “no-kid zone” in front of the stove.
  • Store medications properly. One dosage of the wrong medication can be lethal for kids. If you normally store yours in an easily accessible place, make sure you take the time to secure it all safely in an out-of-reach medicine cabinet or similar space. If you have old medication that you no longer use, it should be disposed of. (Find out how to do that safely here).
  • Ease your pets into the fun. If your pet isn’t used to small children, reintroduce them slowly. Kids tend to rush at animals, which can easily scare them. If an animal still seems skittish, keep them in a gated area to avoid any bites.

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About the author: Michael McLeieer is the founder of E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire & Safety. He regularly posts fire and home safety tips at escapetv.org.

Photo credit: Jed De La Cruz

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