The holiday season is a time of year that brings people together, however, it can also bring along many distractions. 

Occupational Health and Safety/Emergency Measures Coordinator for the city of Swift Current, Ed Fonger, said that the 12 days of holiday safety help to ensure that everyone stays safe and enjoys their holidays. 

“We just want everybody to take note of what goes wrong, just to be safe through the holiday season and have a great holiday season,” he stated. 

Fonger explained that on the first day, individuals should prepare their homes by checking smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, and first aid kits. 

 On day two of 12 days of holiday safety, Fonger encourages families to make a plan. 

“Your family may not be gathered together when an emergency happens,” he elaborated. “So, plan how and where to meet and how to contact each other and discuss what you would do in different situations.” 

Day number three is a day to recognize any special needs that you or your family may have and establish a personal support network. This way relatives and healthcare providers will have access to essential information such as allergies, medical history, and medical conditions if an emergency were to take place. 

Fonger reminds individuals to decorate with safety in mind, such as monitoring candles and keeping them away from children, decorations, and wrapping paper. 

On the fifth day, you can ensure your tree safe. This means if you purchase a real tree, make sure that it is fresh. It is also important to water your tree every day, keep it away from high traffic areas and open heat sources. 

The sixth day is a great day to focus on those twinkling Christmas lights, Fonger continued. 

“Only use lights that have been certified or been recognized by CSA, ULC or the Underwriters,” he explained. “Make sure you use indoor lights inside your home and outdoor lights outside. Check the lights and strings or extension cords to see that they're not frayed or cut or broken or cracked. Don't run electrical cords through doorways and under carpets, and make sure you turn off your holiday lights before you go to bed or when you leave your home.”  

The focus for day number seven is to choose appropriate toys as presents by following age recommendations and paying attention to any recalls announced by Health Canada. 

He added that on the eighth day, individuals should prepare for harsh winter weather. 

Day nine of 12 days of safety encourages individuals to prepare their vehicles for an emergency. 

“Install your winter tires, make sure the windshield fluid is topped up, antifreeze is topped up, and prepare a kit to keep in your vehicle in case of an emergency,” Fonger elaborated. “Items such as blankets, a candle and a deep can of matches, a first aid kit, and a seat belt cutter with a flashlight. Those are always little extra things to keep in mind, even some kitty litter or shovel in the trunk of your vehicle or the back of your vehicle in case you get stuck.” 

For day number 10, Fogner said it is important to take preventative measures to protect yourself, such as receiving a flu shot. 

The importance of first aid is the focus for day number 11. 

“Take the first aid course, knowing that could save the life of someone that you know or a stranger,” Fonger stated. “So, contact your local Red Cross, St. John Ambulance or even the College house course for first aid.  

On the final day of 12 days of holiday safety, Fonger encourages individuals to stay up to date on the weather and road conditions, especially if planning to be on the road.