Middlesex County News

Winter and Holiday Safety Tips

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The holiday season is one of great joy as we look forward to spending time with family and friends. And while the winter holidays are a time for great celebration, we must also be mindful of some of the hazards this time of year can bring. As you prepare for the holidays, whether trimming the tree, setting up decorations, shopping or traveling; here are some helpful tips to keep you and your family safe.

When trimming the tree, make sure that the lights you are using are in good condition with no frayed cords or loose wires.  It is also important that you not connect too many light stands or extension cords together, or have too many connections into one socket. Be sure to turn the tree lights off when you are not at home or are going to sleep. If the tree is fresh, make sure that it is properly watered so that the branches do not dry out and become a potential fire hazard. 

When hanging outdoor lights, make sure that the extension cords are marked for outdoor use, and if you are using a ladder, make sure that it is on solid ground.

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While holiday shopping, place all packages in the trunk, where they won’t be visible to potential thieves. When approaching your vehicle at malls or stores, park in well-lit spaces and be mindful of your surroundings. 

As you get ready to visit relatives, it is important to keep your vehicle well-stocked and maintained. One way to do this is by checking your tires, oil, anti-freeze and windshield wiper fluid before taking a long trip. You should also keep your gas tank at fuller levels to prevent ice from building up in the tank or fuel lines. Be mindful of wet or icy roadways when traveling, and make sure that your cell phone is with you and charged in case you need roadside assistance.

As cold weather approaches, you should insulate your pipes, turn off your sprinkler system and wrap outdoor hoses to protect them from the cold. If you are using space heaters, make sure they are at least three or four feet away from furniture or drapes and that they are out of the reach of children.  Also, make sure that all your fire and carbon monoxide alarms are working and have fresh batteries.

The winter months present many safety hazards, but you can protect yourself and your family by planning ahead to minimize some of those risks.

I hope that you and your family have a safe winter season. I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, a Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Kwanzaa.

 

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