In Minnesota, the holiday season requires us to be extra cautious. While holiday cooking and decorations increase risks of fire and injury, the winter weather conditions create additional hazards on the roads. For example, every year across the country there are on average more than 150,000* crashes due to icy roads. With the spirit of safety first, we offer below some helpful tips for a fabulous and fun holiday season.
1. Keep a windshield scraper and emergency kit including food and warm clothing in your vehicle.
2. Test your car battery. As temperature drops, battery
power drops as well.
3. Allow extra time to drive to your destination. Not only
will there be more traffic than usual, but it is safest to drive more slowly on
4. Practice braking on icy roads in an empty parking lot.
5. Check tire pressure and tread life. Consider installing winter tires.
1. Check all smoke alarms to verify that there is a working smoke alarm on each level of the home. Review your home fire escape plan.
2. Turn off decorative lights and blow out candles before
leaving the house or going to sleep.
3. Remain in the kitchen while something is cooking.
4. Wash hands and cook food to safe minimum standards to
avoid food poisoning.
5. Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from hot ovens and stove tops.
For immediate access to weather updates and information on treating common first aid emergencies, download the American Red Cross Emergency App for free.
We’re thinking ahead, and we hope you will, too, because we have three things for you to do before the Fourth of July weekend arrives. So, let’s get started…
One: Download the Red Cross First Aid App
This free and helpful app for your smartphone gives you instant access to the most common first aid emergencies like cuts, burns, and eye injuries. The app is free. Download it now from the Apple App Store or Google Play. Or text GETFIRST to 90999.
Two: Brush Up On Fireworks Safety
The best way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show presented by professionals. Here are five safety steps for people setting fireworks off at home:
Never give fireworks to small children, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.”
Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
Three: Prepare for Grilling Safely
Every year people are injured while using charcoal or gas grills. Here are several steps to safely cook up treats for the backyard barbecue:
Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
Never grill indoors – not in the house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.
Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.