Halloween is coming up next month, signaling the start of the holiday season. Bring on the memories, bring on the fun. But in some cases, the holidays can also bring about stress and disasters if we’re not careful.
At the Disaster Company, we see countless disasters that occur during the holiday so we think it’s never too soon to start thinking about how to avoid holiday-related catastrophes.
Preventing Fires Around the Holidays
Take caution while placing lights and ornaments in and around your house. Leaving your tree bright makes it look pretty, but those bulbs and wires can cause a fire in moments.
When putting up your decorations, make sure to check your lights thoroughly for any exposed wires or damaged bulbs. Plug them into an outlet with a timer so they aren’t on 24/7, and keep each bulb away from any flammable decorations. This is especially important if you are traveling away from your home at any point.
In the kitchen, keep airflow high, possibly by cracking a window. Be especially careful with towels, hot pads, or wooden/plastic utensils that could get close to your oven or stove top and catch on fire. For extra security, it always pays to keep a fire extinguisher handy, just in case. Keeping the space clear of people and pets will also help reduce any potential accidents that could lead to a fire or injury.
Other Household Disasters
Alongside the dangers of fire, your house may fall victim to other challenges. To avoid risks, do the following:
- Have your plumbing and heating checked by a professional – Here in Utah, water pipes can burst, and heating systems can break down due to the cold. If you have everything checked ahead of time, you can catch any budding issues before they happen.
- Set up a security system – the number of empty households provides opportunistic burglars an unmissable opportunity. If you will be away, get a security system to protect your home from unwanted visitors.
- Get your home inspected for mold or water damage – The last thing you want is for your home to fall apart during the coldest months. If you have your home inspected and any issues addressed, you can prevent any unexpected invasions of mold or water. If you’re late and mold has already infested your residence, contacting a professional Utah mold cleanup company is your best bet.
Avoiding Travel Accidents
More people travel across the US during the holiday season than at any other time of the year. It stands to reason that all roads will have a high influx of traffic, increasing the risk of vehicle accidents. The winter season also comes with its own sets of hazards with ice on the road, poor visibility, and low tire tread and pressure.
Ensure your car has been appropriately serviced with all necessary oil and water topped off. Here in Utah, be ready for snow by installing snow chains and fresh tires. Always plan your journeys, with plenty of rest stops for longer trips. If you must travel at night, remember to rest before you leave, and if you begin to feel sleepy, find a place to stop.
The more you can do to prevent accidents along the way, the less likely you are to have one. But you cannot always control this. Keep an emergency supply kit with everything you might need in an incident, including spare clothes and a spare wheel. If you wind up in an accident, dealing with the situation is the next best plan.
Fall-Proofing Your Home
Whether at your home or out and about, falls can be a quick way to ruin your holiday. At your own home, make sure all entrances and exits are clear of snow, ice, and debris like leaves, weeds, or toys. Using rock salt to melt ice on any path will prevent disasters happening on the way to or from your home. You should also check all handrails and gates to ensure nothing will collapse under a person’s weight.
At other people’s homes, having solid shoes with good treads will help you, and if you need to use a walking stick, replacing the rubber grip of its handle or base will keep it safe and sturdy in your hand.
If you are preparing meals for others, make sure all your ingredients are fresh and well-stored. When cooking meat, frequent use of a meat thermometer will let you know that it is cooked correctly. Do not keep leftovers for too long, and store them in sealable bags or Tupperware to keep them fresh. If items need refrigeration, get them to cool temperatures quickly rather than leaving them out on the counter for hours where bacteria can flourish. On the off chance that you eat something spoiled, make sure to keep the local poison control center’s number handy.
Don’t drink too much alcohol too quickly, and always keep yourself hydrated with water. If you go out on the town, never accept drinks from strangers. Most importantly of all, get plenty of rest. Our bodies need rest to recover, and if we run too hard for too long, we will get sick.
A lot of planning goes into the holidays, but it can fall apart in seconds when disaster strikes. These tips can help avert some unexpected and unwelcome problems, but if you do encounter a holiday catastrophe that requires mold or fire cleanup in Davis County, our professionals are here to help rescue your property and your holidays.