It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

…and also a perfect time for accidents, mishaps and safety hazards. The holidays are the  time to gather family and friends, but all of the hustle and bustle can often lead to safety risks around your home. So here’s our list of three things to keep in mind when decking your halls and keeping grandma from getting run over by a reindeer.

1) Garbage disposals

Holiday parties can mean lots of cooking and, therefore, lots of cleanup in the kitchen. It can be tempting to toss all the leftover food in the sink and flip on the garbage disposal (besides, who wants their trash can smelling like old food?). But not everything can go down the drain. Be sure and keep grease and fat out of the garbage disposal. Even if it’s in liquid form when it goes down the drain, the grease and fat can harden up down the line and cause clogged pipes. Instead, let the grease or fat cool first before putting it in a container and disposing of it properly.

Another thing to keep out of the garbage disposal is pasta and rice. Pasta and rice expand when they come in contact with water and they can clump together and ultimately end up clogging your drain. Dispose of pasta and rice in the garbage and be sure to use a strainer when working with these foods in your sink.

Check out this article from the Huffington Post for more items to keep out of the garbage disposal.

2) Tree safety

Decorating the tree is a holiday tradition for many, but there are a few safety tips to keep in mind. When shopping for an artificial tree, be sure to look for labels that read “fire resistant.” When setting the tree up in your home, keep the tree away from fireplaces and portable heaters to further reduce the risk of a fire.

Be extra careful if you have a live tree for the holidays. Always keep the tree watered with fresh water since heated rooms can dry a tree out quickly. Cutting a few inches off the bottom of the trunk of a live tree will keep the tree alive longer because the fresh wood allows for better absorption of water.

Whether you go real or artificial, be sure to check lights before you string them on your tree. Even if the lights are new, check for frayed wires and broken connections. And always remember to turn off the tree lights when you leave the house or go to bed. It doesn’t take much time for a strand of lights to short out and potentially cause a fire.

Safety tips for pets.

Keep on eye on pets around trees, lights and decorations.

3) Pet safety

We can’t get enough of pets in holiday photos, but don’t let them chew on any of that decorative mistletoe or those poinsettias. They can actually be poisonous to household pets! Eating these holiday plants can lead to vomiting and diarrhea or organ failure and more serious problems. Call your veterinarian immediately if your pet eats any mistletoe or poinsettias.

While indoor trees aren’t necessarily poisonous to animals, the needles can irritate their mouths and throats if the chew on them. Also, keeping tree water hidden with a tree skirt can prevent animals from drinking tree water, which can also be harmful.

And a note to cat owners- skip the tinsel on your tree and around your house. The small, shiny fibers are cat magnets! But if your cat eats them, it can cause internal damage that needs surgery to correct.

So that’s it folks! If you have any more holiday safety tips be sure to let us know in the comments. Have a safe and happy holidays and, from everyone here at Strittmatters, have a very Merry Christmas!

Sources: [1] [2] [3]