Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

HolidayDinnerThe Holiday Season marks a special time of the year, providing opportunities to gather with family and special friends.  Whether you are hosting guests at your home or traveling to another destination, our team at Bieritz Insurance Agency would like to share some tips with you for a safe holiday season.

Safety in the Kitchen

Each year, firefighters respond to an average of 155,000 cooking fires, the number of which increases during the holiday season.  To stay safe in the kitchen, keep in mind the following:

  • Make sure your appliances are working properly.  This includes stove tops, burners, ovens, microwaves, etc.

  • Don’t forget to turn off your stove or oven when finished using it.  You can set a timer for this as a reminder.

  • Don’t leave food unattended on a stove top or in the oven – stay alert.

  • If a pan catches fire, cover it immediately with a lid and turn off the burner.  Water on a grease fire will make it worse.  Make sure your kitchen has a fire extinguisher (and check the expiration date to make sure it will work when you need it).

  • If you have a fire in your oven, turn off the oven and keep the door closed.

  • Keep flammable items away from your stove (pot holders, paper towels, food packaging, etc.).

  • Wear tight fitting sleeves when cooking.  Loose clothing can easily catch on fire from open burners.  Remember “stop, drop and roll”.

  • Never use extension cords to plug in appliances as this can overload a circuit.

  • Make sure you have smoke alarms installed and that their batteries are fresh.

  • Review your escape routes with your family and guests.  Have a pre-determined meeting place to make sure you have the proper head count.

Safety for your Guests

Family gatherings include members of all ages, from toddlers to grandparents. Walking through your home and property and correcting any potential problems will help to prevent injuries that could occur.

Inside the home:

  • Keep stairways clear of toys, shoes, loose carpeting, etc.

  • Avoiding rugs in areas of your home where people can potentially trip and fall.

  • Keep stairways, hallways, and entry ways well lit.

  • Apply non-skid strips to the bottoms of bathtubs and use non-skid rugs outside of bathtubs and showers.

  • If you use extension cords, use tape to secure each cord to the floor to avoid tripping.

Outside the home:

  • Make sure sidewalks and outdoor steps are clear of toys or objects that block a clear path for walking.

  • Repair any cracks or missing pieces on sidewalks and walkways.

  • If you live in an area with snow, keep sidewalks, staircases and paths clear and free of ice and snow. Add sand to the ground to help avoid slipping hazards.


  • Move chairs, cribs, beds, and other furniture away from windows to prevent children from climbing onto sills.

  • Install hardware-mounted safety gates at the top and bottom of every stairway.

  • Attach childproof covers to corners of coffee tables, furniture, and countertops with sharp edges.

  • Add childproof covers to all electrical outlets.


Safety on the Road

For road travelers, the following winter driving tips will help you stay safe and a little less anxious on your next trip.

  • Have your car examined before you leave. Take it to your local auto shop for a quick once over, and make sure your tires are winter ready and properly inflated.

  • Be prepared for a change in course. Before you depart, become confident in knowing your route. Keep the directions as well as appropriate state map(s) handy, in case you need to reroute your trip.

  • Stay hydrated for the journey. It probably seems like dehydration isn’t very likely, but a recent Mayo Clinic study shows that a mere one- to two-percent loss of body weight can quickly lead to fatigue and decreased alertness, which could be deadly in icy winter driving. Also, your body requires more fuel in the cold — so rely on high-energy food including sandwiches, a thermos filled with soup and fruit.

  • Pack a winter safety kit for the car. Don’t leave without the essentials for a safe road trip — a cell phone (don’t forget the car charger); ice scraper; tow rope and jumper cables; sand or cat litter to aid with traction; blankets; flashlights, matches and emergency candles; first aid kit; portable radio; and a good book, in case you do get stuck.

  • Make frequent rest stops. Winter driving is much more fatiguing than in the summer, so you’ll want to make time to stop and stretch your legs. Just a few minutes off the road will make all the difference in improving your alertness when you’re back behind the wheel.


To all of our Friends, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season!

209mainstBieritz Insurance Agency is an independent agency working with over 20 companies to offer our customers a variety of options, and find the right product and company to fit your needs. We operate in the beautiful Leatherstocking Region of Central New York and are proud to call the Cooperstown Area our home. We are an Award Winning Allstate Independent Agency, having received recognition for being among the top 30 Independent agents in the United States.  Contact us at (607) 547-2951, 209 Main Street, Cooperstown or (607) 263-5170, 128 Main Street, Morris.