We love the holidays here at GPJ. As our final events of the year wrap up, we look forward to connecting with family and friends, either at home – or yes – possibly via trains, planes and automobiles.

Although we never expect anything bad to happen, it’s best to be prepared. When things go awry in a holiday movie, it’s hilarious. Not so when it happens to you.  We hope these tips will help ensure a safe and incident-free holiday for you and your loved ones.


Out and About

  • Check road conditions and weather before heading out. Properly maintain your vehicle, and keep region-specific safety equipment/emergency kits in your vehicle (ice scraper, gloves, flashlight, emergency rescue blanket, first aid kit, etc.).
  • Put that cell phone away; many distractions can occur while driving, but cell phones are the main culprit.
  • Allow extra time to get through security at airports.
  • At holiday gatherings and parties, consume alcoholic beverages responsibly and do not consume alcohol and drive. Always buckle up.
  • Secure personal belongs (including corporate issued laptops) and gift purchases in personal and rental car trunks instead of leaving them on the front or back seat.

Basic Holiday Decoration Safety and overall Safety considerations:

  • Don’t overload your electrical sockets.
  • Keep live trees fresh by watering daily. Dry trees = fire hazard.
  • Use a proper step ladder; don’t stand on chairs or other furniture.
  • Make sure paths are clear so no one trips on wrapping paper, decorations, toys, etc.
  • Turn off, unplug, and extinguish all holiday decorations before going to sleep.

Fire Safety:

  • Never leave burning candles unattended or sleep in a room with a lit candle.
  • Keep candles out of reach of children.
  • Make sure candles are on stable surface.
  • Don’t burn candles near trees, curtains or any other flammable items.
  • Don’t burn trees, wreaths or wrapping paper in the fireplace.
  • Check and clean the chimney and fireplace at least once a year.

Don’t Give the Gift of Food Poisoning:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides some holiday food safety tips. Here are a few:

  • Do not rinse raw meat or poultry before cooking.
  • Use a food thermometer to make sure meat is cooked to a safe temperature.
  • Refrigerate foods within two hours.
  • Thanksgiving leftovers are typically safe for four days in the refrigerator.
  • Bring sauces, soups and gravies to a rolling boil when reheating.
  • When storing turkey, cut the leftovers in small pieces so they will chill quickly.
  • Wash your hands frequently when handling food.

For more personal safety tips, read Part 1 and Part 2 of this blog series.

Have a safe and happy holiday season!