Holiday Safety Guide For Seniors
Carli De La Cruz
December 1, 2015
Home decorating is one of the most anticipated parts of the holiday season. Tinsel, trees, and candles are spread throughout the home. These beloved things give us warm and cozy feelings; a respite from the bitter chill of winter. In addition, we should keep in mind when decking the halls the safety of our elderly loved ones as well as the rest of the family.
Be sure to triple check these things around your home to avoid any accidents or injuries.
If you have an artificial tree or are thinking of purchasing one, we recommend that it has a “fireproof” label. Obviously live trees cannot be fireproof, however, they should be watered often. Trees that are too dry are highly flammable and increase the risk of catching fire.
Your tree (whether it came in a box or from a lot) should not be too close to stoves, fireplaces, or heating vents. Another way to reduce fire hazards is to only use flame-resistant decorations.
The National Safety Council (NSC) advises you to only use lights that have been tested by Underwriters Laboratories (should have a UL label). Assist your loved one in following directions regarding indoor and outdoor lighting use.
Inspect all light bulbs for cracks, frayed wires, and loose connections. The NSC also suggests that you don’t hang lights near any flammable surfaces. Always unplug any lights when you go to bed or are leaving the home.
Clear all walkways and your driveway of snow to prevent slips and falls. If you live in a place that gets heavy snowfall, shovel it all out of the way before your elderly loved one arrives. The Sweet Home picked their favorite snow shovel this year priced at less than $30.
Candles are wonderful for producing nostalgic scents that remind us of cherished memories from the holidays. However, two out of every five home decoration fires are started by candles so it is very important to place them in safe areas around the home.
Never leave a senior alone with a burning candle who suffers from a mental ailment in which they can become easily confused, or if they have a physical ailment and are injury-prone. Don’t use candles in a home where oxygen is used.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), unattended cooking is one of the leading sources of home fires that occur around the holidays. Always keep an eye on the food and set timers.
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