Published on December 15, 2021

On the 12th Day of Holiday Safety

‘Tis the season for good tidings, good food and intimate gatherings. Among all the fun to be had, it’s easy to forget all the hazards present during the holiday season, so keep these holiday safety tips handy.

12 Days of Safety

On the first day…
Setting up holiday lights last minute? Before hanging and plugging in all the strings of lights, inspect each string and any extension cords for signs of wear or damage. Use lights certified by a recognized organization (e.g. CSA, ULC or C-UL).

On the second day…
Quick, it’s an emergency! Always have an emergency plan in case something happens. That could look like a list of emergency contacts on the fridge, a set of steps practiced in case of a fire or saving emergency phone numbers on your phone. Always know where your emergency exits are no matter where you are for the holidays.

On the third day…
Is a tree part of your holiday tradition? Purchase a freshly cut tree and keep it watered to decrease the likelihood of a fire, or purchase an ornamental tree that’s labeled fire resistant. Don’t forget to turn off the tree lights if you leave the tree unattended. In movies, trees and fireplaces make for a festive backdrop, but trees should be kept away from fireplaces.

On the fourth day…
Lights and trees and cords, oh my! The holidays are filled with electrical decor which can be a fire hazard when unprepared. Add a new annual tradition to the holiday season — check the expiration of your household fire extinguisher(s) and make sure all parts are intact in case of an emergency.

On the fifth day…
Lighting candles to set the mood? Don’t leave lit candles unattended and keep away from trees, children, pets, decorations and wrapping paper.

On the sixth day…
When putting up decorations, use a ladder for high areas or a step stool. For harder to reach areas, have a spotter who can hold the ladder’s base while you hang decorations.

person putting decorations on a tree

On the seventh day…
Enjoying some holiday cheer this year? When attending holiday parties have a plan for the evening if a few drinks are on the menu. Designate a sober driver, have taxi numbers saved in your phone or coordinate with a friend or family member from your cohort to pick you up.

On the eighth day…
Cooking a feast? Dangers in the kitchen can include out of control fires, gas leaks and spills, but don’t forget about the danger of multitasking. Cooking behaviours such as watching TV or disabling the smoke alarm while cooking are not recommended and increase the risk of an accident.

On the ninth day…
Trying to stay extra warm? Never leave space heaters on if leaving a room or falling asleep. While using a space heater, leave at least one metre of space around the heater and plug directly into a wall socket. Plugging into power bars or using extension cords can lead to overheating and result in a fire. Stay toasty, safely.

On the tenth day...
Leaving home for the holidays? Maybe it’s to be with family in another city or spreading cheer while soaking up the sun on a beach. Wherever you find yourself travelling to, before leaving the house for an extended period, make sure you unplug any appliances, lamps and chargers. Before heading out the door, do your best to make it look like someone is home while away. This can be done by leaving a car parked in the driveway, leaving a light on and having someone lined up to pick up mail and shovel your walkway.

On the eleventh day…
Take a moment to breathe. Two of the main states that lead to most incidents and injuries are rushing and fatigue. So, take a moment to stop, get some rest, and be proactive to plan what needs to be done to minimize any potential “last-minute” issues.

On the twelfth day...
Safety never takes a holiday; however, it is important to recognize and celebrate all the tasks that every person takes to create a safer environment – at home, at play, and anywhere else. Continue to keep a safe attitude and recognize how safety makes everyone able to enjoy a happy holiday. 


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Last edited: December 15, 2021