For most folks, the holidays bring to mind good food, fun decorations, and good times spent with family and friends.
But for property managers and retail owners, the holiday season can be wrought with stress over possible insurance claims. With extra foot traffic in stores, holiday lights, and cooking turkeys, there’s always a possibility that an accident will occur that will ruin the holiday spirit.
Here are some tips to prepare for the season by making safety a priority:
Cooking is one of the biggest causes of fires at home. So taking extra precautions while cooking that turkey dinner for Christmas or Thanksgiving is a must for your tenants. Making sure your tenants have information on cooking safety is one way to help prevent a potential problem. You can download a list here from the U.S. Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/cooking.html
Household Fire Hazards
Cooking isn’t the only way a fire can start. An unclean fireplace can lead to a buildup which will cause a fire. Likewise space heaters or candles unattended while they are in use can cause a fire. You might be unaware that a live Christmas Tree can also be flammable if it goes dry. If tenants are using Christmas lights, remind them to make sure they don’t overload circuits and to check for faulty wiring.
New or seasonal hires can bring an increased risk when it comes to frequency of injuries. Employee injuries can be significant enough to require a new hire to miss work, leaving retailers short-handed at a time when they need all hands on deck. Training all employees about workplace safety from day one is key. Make sure new hires are familiar with their surroundings and responsibilities, as well as proper lifting techniques and ladder safety. Even employees with previous experience will be unfamiliar with new surroundings.
Choose your decorations wisely by avoiding things like paper, decorated trees, and wreaths which could increase the fire load in an area. Also makes sure to keep decorations away from heat or other ignition sources. Using extension cords properly by ensuring you are not stringing multiple chains together, and avoiding trip and fall hazards is key. Choose smart locations for holiday displays and products, making sure you are not covering up emergency exit signs, over-crowding aisle ways, or any place that would make it difficult to get out in an emergency situation.
What safety precautions do you take around the Holiday season? Tell us about it in the comment section below.