The holidays are a wonderful time for all, but yet many tragic accidents also occur at this time of year. I would like to see all you FORTers back in the New Year. Even though these tips are common sense, sometimes we overlook things or are too busy to make sure that everything is in place. Although many or most of us are aware of safety issues, please remind others especially our elderly family members and friends.
Please take care Enjoy the gifts of the season, but especially please be safe this holiday season!!!!!
If you have any additional tips please share them!
SAFETY AT HOME
Check smoke detectors; have at least one detector in every sleeping area; have a working fire extinguisher and know it's location; keep live Christmas trees watered; turn off holiday lights when you leave a room.
Take care with poisonous plants
· They include Mistletoe, Holly, Christmas Rose, and Jerusalem Cherry. Make sure you keep these plants (and all poisonous plants) out of the reach of children.
· Poinsettias are not poisonous, but they can cause skin irritation and gastrointestinal distress and they can also make your pets sick.
· The Christmas tree itself isn't poisonous, but the sharp pine needles can cause painful cuts in the mouth and throat when swallowed and become stuck in the throat
Do not burn wrapping papers in the fireplace. A flash fire may result as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely.
Keep matches, lighters, and candles out of the reach of children.
Avoid smoking near flammable decorations.
Make an emergency plan to use if a fire breaks out anywhere in the home. See that each family member knows what to do. PRACTICE THE PLAN!
Avoid wearing loose flowing clothes - particularly long, open sleeves -- near open flames -- such as those of a fireplace, stove, or candlelit table.
Never burn candles near evergreens. Burning evergreens in the fireplace can also be hazardous. When dry, greens burn like tinder. Flames can flare out of control, and send sparks flying into a room or up the chimney to ignite creosote deposits.
Plan for safety. Remember that there is no substitute for common sense. Look for and eliminate potential danger spots near candles, fireplaces, trees, and/or electrical connections.
Minimize stress. The holidays are happy times, but are often highly stressful, too. Animals pick up on stress and can easily become over-stimulated and confused. For scent-oriented pets, schedule disruptions, unfamiliar scents and unfamiliar people coming and going can bring on a very real fear of invasions of their territory, and result in illness and behavior problems.
Set up a “safe retreat” in a quiet area of your home, inaccessible to guests or clearly labelled with a sign. Provide food, water, favorite toys, and a CD player or radio with soft music to mask unfamiliar sounds. Whenever stress, hustle and bustle threaten your pet’s equilibrium, escort him to his retreat. Ideal times include parties, and when you’re unpacking and setting up decorations.
Think hard before inviting your pets to your holiday gatherings. It’s unfair (and unwise) to expect our companion animals to be as sociable as we are. If your pet is a social butterfly, go ahead. But keep an eye on her and keep her safe retreat ready.
If your pet’s a “chewer,” especially of cords, ban strings of electric lights from any pet-accessible areas of your home. Even if your pet never or seldom chews cords, the novelty of new temptations can prove irresistible, with tragic results.
Skip the candles. Pets and candles just don’t mix. Even if you’re right there on guard, a wagging tail can tip over a candle and start a fire with appalling swiftness. Consider using the new battery-powered or rechargeable “candles” (brands include “Candela”) that offers a soft, romantic glow without the flame.
Avoid offering unfamiliar and rich foods. Dogs are particularly prone to gorging with potentially life-threatening consequences. Big no-nos for pets include alcoholic beverages, chocolate, coffee, onions and onion powder, salt, yeast dough and rich table scraps.
Maintain your pets’ normal schedule as much as possible: regular mealtimes, exercise, walks, litter box cleanup and playtime. Bad habits caused by stressful experiences during the holidays can persist long after the decorations are packed away.
Watch the doors. The excitement, disruption, and comings and goings of the holiday season put pets at increased risk for escape, or even being inadvertently let out by a well-meaning guest
Ribbon poses a danger, especially to cats, who are attracted to the bright and shiny colors. Either wrap gifts without ribbon or keep these gifts away from your pet.
A pet's tail can overturn a burning candle and start a fire. If you light candles, be sure to keep them away from your pet and never leave them unattended
Don't feed your dog chocolate. Actually dogs are allergic to the caffeine in chocolate, not to the other ingredients. And it takes a certain amount of chocolate before your dog gets sick. So if your Laborador Retriever grabs a Hershey's Kiss, that is OK. Here are the amounts of caffeine that will cause problems:
100 mg caffeine per 1 kilogram of dog's weight, symptoms will occur 140 mg caffeine per 1 kilogram of dog's weight Toxic level
Milk chocolate has:45 mg of caffeine per ounce Unsweetened chocolate has:400 mg of caffeine per ounce
Are there small objects, such as hard candy or nuts in candy dishes, where younger children can get them?
Are there gates on the stairs?
If your child has food allergies, will they be serving that food?
Icicles and tinsel are made of plastic and no longer contain tin or lead. They are not poisonous, but if small pieces are swallowed, they can cause choking. Avoid using tinsel on parts of the tree that a child or a too-curious pet can reach.
"Bubble lights" may contain dangerous chemicals. If swallowed, this liquid is very irritating and potentially harmful. Keep bubble lights out of the reach of children. To be safer, do not use these lights at all if you have small children.
Batteries can be hazardous if bitten or swallowed. The alkaline contents can leak from the battery and cause a chemical burn to the mouth, lips and tongue. Swallowed batteries can obstruct the airway or throat. Even the small disc or button shaped batteries can be dangerous. Do not leave batteries of any size within reach of small children or pets.
Remember to keep alcoholic drinks away from children. Unfinished drinks left out after a party can be attractive to small children and can seriously poison a child. After the party, empty all glasses that contained alcoholic beverages.
Angel hair is made of spun glass and it can injure eyes, skin, and mouth. To be safe, do not allow young children to play with angel hair.
Follow recommended age ranges on toy packages. Toys that are too advanced could be a safety hazard for younger children.
Be careful of holiday gift wrapping, like bags, paper, ribbons and bows. These items can pose suffocation and choking hazards to a small child.
Children under age 4 can choke on small parts contained in toys or games and balls with a diameter of one and three-quarters of an inch or less.
Children under age 8 can choke or suffocate on uninflated or broken balloons. Remove strings and ribbons from toys before giving them to young children.
Watch for pull toys with strings that are more than 12 inches in length. They could be a strangulation hazard for babies.
Have a working flashlight - don't use candles when power fails.
Be sure to carry an emergency kit. Spare tire, booster cables, flares, extra blankets and protein bars.
If you're hosting a party, arrange alternate transportation for intoxicated guests. Appoint a designated driver who won't be drinking.
* If you're attending a party, know your safe drink limit. If you exceed it, call a cab, ask someone to drive you home, or stay the night.
Never drink and drive!
Avoid using candles during parties. If guests will be smoking, provide them with large, deep ashtrays and check them frequently. After the party, check inside and under upholstery and in trashcans for cigarette butts that may be smoldering.
AFTER THE BIG DAY
Avoid becoming an easy target for post-holiday burglars by not leaving boxes for new electronics and other expensive items in the alley or other garbage pick-up locations.
* Break down any boxes you are throwing out, put them in dark garbage bags and place them inside a trashcan.
Think about keeping broken-down boxes inside until the evening before your regular garbage pick-up. Some burglars actually look inside garbage cans for evidence of holiday gifts
Update or create a home inventory.
* Take photos or make videos of items, and list descriptions and serial numbers. If your home is burglarized, having a detailed inventory can help identify stolen items and make insurance claims easier to file.
* Make sure things like televisions, videocassette recorders, stereo equipment, cameras, camcorders, sports equipment, jewellery, silver, computers, home office equipment, and power tools are on the list.
Place outside the home a lock box for deliveries.
"There are thieves that follow delivery trucks around," Weston said.