This time of year provides us with a wonderful opportunity to spend time with family and friends celebrating the holidays. However, the holidays also bring with them certain hazards that can cause a holiday celebration to turn into a tragedy. A trip to the emergency room on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Day is not how you want to spend the holiday.
The team of lawyers at Diamond and Diamond want you to have a safe and enjoyable holiday season. Below are several safety tips for the holidays that might be of use to you as you and your family celebrate this special time of year.
Food is a vital element of holiday gatherings for many families. However, a food-borne illness can quickly turn a happy gathering into a miserable trip to the emergency room. When preparing your holiday meal this year, remember these key safety tips for food preparation:
- Avoid cross-contamination of raw foods and cooked foods. Use separate dishes and utensils to handle raw foods and wash with soap and hot water before re-using them. Keep a disinfectant handy in the kitchen to clean countertops after food preparation.
- Always use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of meats. You want to be sure to cook the meat to the correct temperature.
- Wash all fruits and vegetables before serving them to guests or using them in recipes.
- Keep foods at the right temperature. Hot foods should be kept hot, and cold foods should be kept cold. You need to freeze or refrigerate leftover food within two hours.
- Safely thaw turkeys in the refrigerator, not on the countertop.
For more information about holiday food safety, you can visit the Government of Canada’s website.
Safety Tips for Holiday Decorating
Holiday decorating should be fun and enjoyable. However, you need to take steps to ensure you, your family, and your home remains safe this holiday season.
- If you are purchasing a live Christmas tree, make sure that it is fresh by checking the needles. Needles should be green and not break when you run them through your fingers. Look for green coloring on the tree trunk because that is a sign the tree has been painted and may not be fresh.
- Cut off a couple of inches of the truck just before placing the tree in water. Check and refill the water each day to ensure the tree does not dry out too fast.
- Only use lights that are approved for indoor use on your tree.
- Avoid decorations that are breakable if you have small children.
- Do not overload outlets or extension cords with too many plugs. Check all extension cords to ensure they are not frayed or damaged.
- Never use real candles to decorate a tree or place the tree near a heating source.
- Always turn off lights and blow out candles when you go to sleep or leave home.
- Never run electric cords under rugs or furniture.
Preventing Falls During the Holidays
Winter weather can create hazardous walking surfaces around your home. Clear walkways, stairs, and porches of ice and snow. You can also use salt and sand to help reduce the risk of falling. Keep rugs inside doors to reduce the amount of water and ice tracked into the house. Also, clean up any spills in the kitchen immediately and keep clutter throughout the house to a minimum.
If you are using a ladder to put up holiday decorations, make sure the ladder is sturdy and in good working condition. The ladder should only be used on a flat surface. It is good to have another person with you when climbing to reach those hard-to-decorate areas of your home.
Ontario Personal Injury Lawyers
We hope your holidays are safe. However, if you need us, we will be here for you. A holiday injury caused by the negligence of another person could entitle you to compensation. Diamond and Diamond have years of experience handling claims for accident victims who have been injured due to the negligence of others. Call our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now.