The holiday season is a wonderful time of the year, but also can be stressful and present hazards. The roads are icy, stores are packed, kitchens are busy, and dull moments are few and far between. We understand how busy you are and want to help you stay safe during this holiday season. Read these 5 tips to have a safer holiday season.

1.Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree – A Christmas tree is an integral part of many families holiday celebrations, and also to quite a few house fires. The National Fire Prevention Association recommends testing your lights and replacing any broken or loose bulb connections. Also, check to make sure your cord isn’t worn or broken.

2.Turn Off the Lights – Before leaving your home or going to bed make sure that your Christmas tree and outdoor lights are off. This helps ensure that nothing will catch fire when you aren’t awake or at home. Also, be sure to check where you are plugging the lights in and that you are not creating a trip and fall hazard.

3.Keep the Hand Sanitizer Close – the holiday season is also, in most places, flu season. To help prevent the spread of germs wash your hands with soap and running water multiple times a day.

4.Slips and Falls – Be sure to keep your sidewalk and driveways clear of snow and ice. Use ice melting pellets and remove some snow and ice throughout the day to keep your neighbors and guests safe.

5.Shop Smart – Online shopping accounted for about 40% of all spending during the holiday season, according to the National Retail Federation. This year that is expected to increase even further. Before inputting your personal information, especially your payment information, check to make sure the site is showing the closed padlock near the web address. This means the site is secure and your payment information is encrypted.