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The 411: Top holiday safety tips for university students

holiday safety tips
How safe will you be this holiday season? Source: Shutterstock

The holidays are upon us and that can mean lots of merriment, social outings and perhaps some free time on your hands.

But whether you’re celebrating the religious or cultural festivities or not, this isn’t a time for safety precautions to slip.

Whether you’re at home, in your rented student accommodation or travelling over the course of the holidays, it always pays to be safe than sorry and to prepare accordingly.

Here are some holiday safety tips to help keep you safe this festive season:

Driving 

holiday safety tips

The holiday season can be a trying time to travel, so do the necessary, such as checking the weather forecast before travelling to be safe. Source: Shutterstock

Fuel up

If you must drive – especially in bad weather – ensure you have at least half a tank full of gas or petrol and keep your friends or family members updated about your whereabouts.

Emergency preparedness kit

An emergency preparedness kit in your car may vary depending on your needs, but should typically include basic car supplies (eg. jumpstart cable, inflated spare tyre, etc.) as well as a first aid kit, spare clothes and a power bank. An old CD can also come in handy; should you ever get stuck by the side of the road and need to grab someone’s attention, you can always wave the non-printed side of a CD in the air as it reflects light.

At home or in your dorm

Electrical outlets

It sounds obvious, but avoid overloading your electrical outlets to prevent them from becoming a fire hazard. Don’t plug multiple extension cords together to power your holiday decorations and select cords that are rated to handle the wattage of the devices you plan to use.

Don’t leave cooking food unattended

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) notes that the leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking, so stay in the kitchen if you plan to do things such as fry, grill or boil your food. Check your food regularly if you are baking and roasting, and use a timer to avoid forgetting your food.

Pets

holiday safety tips

Christmas trees can be dangerous to pets if precautions aren’t taken into consideration. Source: Shutterstock

Human food

If there’s bound to be an abundance of food on your kitchen countertops at this time of the year, be careful about what you might unknowingly drop onto the floor or what your naughty pets might steal if not under a watchful eye. Many of us may be aware that chocolates are harmful to cats and dogs, but so are other items such as alcohol, coffee, grapes and even raisins.

Decorations

If you have a Christmas tree set up at home, ensure it is anchored securely to ensure it doesn’t fall (especially on your pet(s)), while some decorative items such as holly and mistletoe can give your pets issues when consumed.

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