Hosting, Cooking, and Food Safety for the Holidays
With the holidays upon us, many are prepping their homes – and kitchens – for celebrations and family dinners. Hosting any type of party requires significant planning, from the minute details of the decorations to the cocktails and four-course dinners. It’s perfectly OK to enjoy the various festivities of the holiday season, even more so than the average person, but if you’re the type who likes to deck the whole house out with candles, artificial snow, poinsettias, lights, and of course, a beautifully adorned Christmas tree, there are certain safety measures you should follow to keep you and your loved ones out of harm’s way.
Garland, wreaths, lights, artificial snow, ornaments – these are some of our favorite decorations. And, of course, we love a flocked Christmas tree. Decorations have the potential to add comfort and joy to your home. That is, unless something goes awry. Here are some decorating safety tips, courtesy of the National Safety Council:
- Never use lighted candles near trees, boughs, curtains and drapes, or any potentially flammable item.
- When spraying artificial snow on windows, trees, or other surfaces, be sure to follow the directions carefully. These sprays can irritate your lungs if inhaled.
- Many plants, such as the mistletoe, are poisonous and may cause severe stomach problems. Other plants to watch out for are: holly berries, Jerusalem cherry, and amaryllis.
- When displaying a tree, cut about two inches off the trunk and place the tree in a sturdy, water-holding stand. Keep the stand filled with water so the tree does not dry out quickly.
- If you use an artificial tree, choose one that is tested and labeled as fire resistant. Artificial trees with built-in electrical systems should have the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label.
- Indoor lights should only be used for indoor purposes. And the same goes for outdoor lights. Check lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, and loose connections. Replace or repair any damaged light sets.
- Turn off all lights on trees and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house. Unplug extension cords when not in use.
We love a good holiday party. Few things compare to friends and family gathering to celebrate and enjoy each other’s company. Hosting a holiday party is no easy feat; it takes a lot of work. Follow these hosting and food safety tips to ensure a fun (and safe!) party:
- While doing holiday cooking, keep your knives sharp. Most knife injuries occur due to dull blades.
- Avoid cleaning kitchen surfaces with wet dishcloths or sponges. They easily harbor bacteria and promote bacteria growth. Use clean paper towels instead.
- Being a smart party host or guest should include being sensible about alcoholic drinks More than half of all traffic fatalities are alcohol-related. Use designated drivers, people who do not drink, to drive other guests home after a holiday party.
- When cooking food, someone should always be present in the kitchen to prevent a fire.
If you have further questions about holiday safety tips, we’ll be glad to answer any of your questions!
If you haven’t had your electrical system inspected before, contact the professionals at Gold Medal Service to schedule your comprehensive inspection appointment. We will also be happy to answer any question you have about other home safety tips, energy efficiency, and how to save money on your heating bills.
Give us a call today at 1-800-553-6060 or schedule an appointment online!
Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season!