Many of you know Doug Bowles from attending our Continuing Education courses. Doug is an expert in all things mitigation. Please enjoy his advice regarding hoarding and its mitigation.
As always, thanks for all you do.
Michael L. Allen
The Holidays are a wonderful and stressful time of year for many of us! Here is some information on how to make it a little less stressful and keep us all a little more prepared!
There are many different disasters that could hinder your family fun at this jolly time. However, Major Restoration Services is here to teach you some tips on how to prevent anything from happening in your hectic schedule this season.
The most common holiday hindrances we experience are house fires. It is easy to get wrapped up in other tasks while preparing a nice holiday dinner maybe leaving those lights on a little too long because they make your home look cozy and sparkly, but watch out! We don’t want the beautiful masterpiece you created to go up in flames! Nearly 47,000 fires happen over the winter holidays. The American Red Cross gives us some great tips on how to prevent these things from happening. Make sure you place Christmas trees, candles, and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents, and candles. If you do have a Christmas tree be sure to purchase flame retardant metallic or artificial trees. If you do purchase a real tree make sure that it has fresh, green needles that aren’t easily broken. Keep live trees as moist as possible by giving them plenty of water. Make sure that light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving home or going to bed. Also blow out any candles you might have lit! Use only sturdy tree stands designed not to tip over. Train your pets and children to stay away from your decorations that could be tipped over like trees or Menorahs. An average of 40 home fires per day, over the holidays, are caused by children and pets playing near decorations! Keep anything that can catch fire – pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels, or curtains – away from your stove top while making all that wonderful food! Designate one person to walk around your home/yard to make sure all candles and smoking materials have been properly extinguished after your guests leave. Make sure you test all smoke alarms before the big parties! Smoke alarms save lives! 
The weather plays a huge factor in our winter/holiday fun. Living in the Northeast like we do our winters tend to be a little unpredictable to and a little crazy. Luckily the CDC has some great tips on how to protect yourself and your loved ones during this blustery time of year! Install a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector. You never know when your power might go out and with all of us being indoors so much over the cold months carbon monoxide poisoning peaks. Make sure to water proof your home! This includes fixing any leaks in the ceiling and making sure your pipes are well insulated. Nothing is worse than having a frozen pipe burst right as your cutting into holiday dinner! Check your emergency supplies. You should have:
- Clean water
- Portable cell phone charger
- Extra Batteries
- Even having a small generator wouldn’t hurt!
Don’t forget to bring your pets inside! They are part of the family also! Watch out for snow. Make sure you are keeping an eye out on the snow that accumulates over the winter season. Not just on sidewalks but on your rooftops also! If it gets too heavy it could collapse! Trim all the trees with branches that hang over your house. They get heavy and frozen over the winter. You never know when one might snap off and cause roof or chimney damage. 
Preparing you for the Holidays
It is important to not only protect your home but to also protect yourself during the holiday season. Don’t take on too many tasks at once and stress yourself out! You want to be calm and coherent so you can keep everything in your home safe and you can stay in control. See if you can take some short cuts or find some easy new recipes for you and your loved ones to try together.
If you or anyone you know is struggling make sure you give them the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number. Just showing that you care could make a difference. They are there 24/7 to take calls and save lives 1 (800) 273-8255. Have a safe and happy holiday season!
Pictures Utilized: All images are copyright free but are credited as follows:
You can also download the printer friendly version of this Major Reader and keep it close by!