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Choose safety first this holiday season

Amidst the glitter and glow of Christmas, things aren’t always merry and bright. Here at the Franklin County Times, we want to encourage you to make sure the season is holly and jolly by practicing a few safety measures.

There are several potential areas of concern when it comes to holiday safety.

For one, fire safety is crucial. From space heaters to wood stoves to candles, be sure you are taking every precaution to keep the home fires burning safely. Don’t leave flame sources unattended, and make sure they are well clear of combustibles like loose fabric or cardboard boxes.

Although we usually escape the most frigid of temperatures here north Alabama, cold weather can still be a cause for concern. Proper outdoor attire is a must when braving the winter, whether that’s multiple layers or accoutrements like gloves and scarves.

Additionally, make sure cold weather doesn’t negatively affect the four P’s – people, plants, pets and pipes. These vulnerable groups, from children and the elderly to fragile plants furry loved ones, might need a little extra help to get through the coldest of days comfortably.

Sad to say, the holiday season also brings the threat posed by criminal activity. Although we hate to think of it, there are people in this world who will take advantage of the season to the detriment of others. Every year we hear of packages being stolen off porches; purses and wallets being snatched from distracted shoppers; and breaking-and-entering incidents that put a serious damper on the season.

Just be sure you keep a wary out. We’re not trying to make anyone paranoid, but it never hurts to be cautious.

There’s also our health to be conscious of this season. Although the COVID pandemic fears have lessened as many of us have become vaccinated, there is still the chance there for the spread of the virus, especially as new variants pop up. Besides the coronavirus, there are also all the usual cold weather illnesses, from a basic cold to bronchitis to the flu. Wash your hands, take your vitamins, stay hydrated and get good rest to make sure your immune system is up to the task of the holidays.

Be safe in holiday travel, too, from wearing your seatbelt to being aware of road conditions. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t drive distracted, either by texting or anything else. These are measures we should observe year-round – but in this busy time of year, it can be tempting to overlook the simple precautions we can take to make sure each day is safe as possible.

We want all of our readers and subscribers to have a safe and happy holiday season!