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Dec. 18, 2017

Make the Holidays Happy and Safe

Dangling from the rooftop trying to string the most festive outdoor light display. Finger-numbingly cutting down the largest tree. Cooking endeavors that end in disaster. The holiday season prompts many of these comical visions, and while they might be funny in the movie Christmas Vacation, the holidays can be packed with very real opportunities for injury.

Rockford’s full-time safety team invests in training and equipment to help keep people safe every day. We also use standard procedures that can be easily translated to holiday- or weather-related tasks. Here are some ways you can translate jobsite safety to home safety:

- Be prepared - Gather any necessary tools or protective gear before you begin, including gloves. Know where you keep a first aid kit and fire extinguisher handy, should you need them.

- Eliminate distractions - pay attention to the job at hand, especially around machinery like snow blowers and snowplows.

- Stay steady - try hanging holiday lights with an extension pole instead of climbing onto the roof or a ladder. If you choose to use a ladder, maintain three points of contact (two feet, one hand) at all times.

- Don’t be shocked – literally. Be careful not to overload circuits with electrical decorations.

- Unclutter your workspace - prevent holiday meals from falling off the counter or catching on fire by keeping countertops clear and uncluttered.

- Eliminate fire hazards by keeping open flames and lighted candles away from any potentially flammable item like curtains. Also, keep natural trees well-watered. Dry branches can catch fire from the heat of light bulbs.

- Watch out for ice – As the temperature drops, do yourself a favor and watch for ice on walkways, roads, and in parking lots.

Winter is a wonderful time of year to enjoy with family and friends, so take the necessary precautions to ensure the season is fun and safe.