In the pest control industry, safety and health are at the forefront of everything we do. As we continue enjoying family and friends throughout this holiday time, please remember safety and health as well. The holidays are a fun and loving time. Don’t let something like a Christmas tree or candle fire, hazardous toys for children, property theft during holiday travels, or even intoxication ruin one of the most wonderful times of the year for you and your family. Here are a few simple tips to follow to make your holiday a safe and healthy one.

Did you know that between 2012 and 2016, our U.S. firemen and women responded to an average 170 home fires (per year) that started with a Christmas tree? Whether due to damaged electrical decorations, an overload in an electrical outlet, a dry tree that was not kept adequately watered, or even having combustible substances too close to the Christmas tree, these fires resulted in an average of four deaths, 15 injuries, and $12M (per year) in property damage! Please don’t let this be you. Check electrical decorations for signs of damage before using them. Try not to put more than three strands of lights together. The overload in an electrical outlet varies by home and how many outlets are connected to one breaker, and a lot of stuff about maximum amps and voltage and such. The best rule of thumb is to only put one plug into an electrical outlet. Ensure you keep your real tree watered daily to keep it fresh through the holiday season, and do not keep combustible substances within three feet of holiday lightings.

These fire safety tips apply to artificial trees and candles as well. Holiday cooking should follow similar fire hazard precautions, as should the New Year fireworks celebrations.

As far as toys for children go, there is a reason why manufacturers apply age groups to toys. In fact, there is a Federal Regulation Code – 16 CFR, § 1500.18 – that bans any toys to children under the age of three if the product presents a choking, aspiration, or ingestion hazard due to small parts. The bottom line is to use common sense when purchasing toys for children on your gift list this year. A toy should be appropriate for the child’s age and basic abilities.

Doing some traveling this holiday season? If you are, the worst thing you could do is to let the world know about it through your social media sights. How about just telling a neighbor who can help watch over your place while you are gone? Lock up well before leaving. Your property will be better protected and a little less susceptible to theft.

Last but not least is a little too much celebrating with alcohol. If you are having a holiday gathering, please do your part to keep your guests safe. If you notice someone that’s had a little too much to drink, ensure they have a designated driver to get them safely home. Or, be prepared to let party goers that have had a bit too much to camp out at your house.

Let’s have fun! Happy, Safe, and Healthy Holidays Everyone!