Christmas is a fabulous time of the year ... whether we've sailed across the finish line, or crawled, it's time to hang with family and friends, eating, drinking and generally having fun!
But, there are some things that can ruin it all! In a previous life, I was in occupational health and safety and no matter how long I've been out of the sector, I still have that little person in my head doing mini risk assessments!
So, here are some things to think about to keep yourself happy and safe over the festive season.
Deck the halls ...
Falls from ladders, tables and chairs spike at Christmas when people are putting up lights and decorations. Some falls can be serious, resulting in broken bones or cuts and bruises.
Don’t stand on tables or chairs ... use a step or ladder instead, depending on the height you need to reach
Before using a ladder, make sure it’s in good condition and it’s set up on a firm and level surface
Have someone hold the ladder while you're on it
Wear suitable footwear
Don’t drink and decorate!
Christmas lights & decorations
Lots of fires are triggered by some failure of a piece of equipment, including Christmas lights that are faulty or incorrectly installed.
When buying lights, check they have an Australian Approval number
Check your house has an RCD installed
If you plan on your house being visible from outer space, think about getting additional outdoor power points installed - don't overload your existing power system
Make sure artificial Christmas trees and decorations are flame-resistant
Turn off your Christmas lights when you’re not home and when you go to bed
Don't overload extension or power boards
Hitting the road
We all know that Australia’s road toll spikes during the Christmas and New Year period.
Make sure you’re well rested before going on a long road trip, give yourself plenty of time to get there and take breaks (about 15 minutes every two hours)
Avoid driving at odd hours of the morning or night, when you would normally be asleep
Stick to the speed limit
It goes without saying that you shouldn't drink and drive
Before going on long road trips, check your engine, lights and tyres or even consider getting your car serviced; and check any trailer and caravans too
Lots of homes are left empty during the holidays, making them prime targets for burglars. Some things you can do to avoid coming home to a burgled house are:
Secure all windows and doors
Ask a friend, relative or neighbour to collect your mail
Use lights with a timer that allows you to have the lights on at different times of the night
Having a few?
If you're a tee totaler (ie you don't drink alcohol) you've nothing to worry about, but if you like to have a few tipples, read on:
Make sure you've organised to a safe way home if you're out and drinking
Think about the standard drinks you're consuming (one glass does not equal one standard drink)
Consider pouring your own drinks to keep track if you're drinking at home
Eat before, and while, you're drinking
Consider drinking low-alcohol drinks, alternating alcohol with soft drinks or switching to water (which will also keep you hydrated in the hot Australian summer)
Resist the temptation to drink every day of the holidays
Hope these tips help and you have a fabulous Christmas and New Year! Anything I've missed? Feel free to leave a comment below ...