Posted by: Green Knight | December 25, 2010

Safe Holidays!

Common holiday hazards include fires from faulty or overloaded electrical equipment, falls while hanging decorations, carbon monoxide poisoning, and animal poisoning from toxic plants like poinsettia, holly, and mistletoe. My own little electric fan/space heater blew up last week, even though it was new this year, because the motor got clogged with cat fur and seized up. The room got lighter for a second because there was a small fire, then a pop with a black cloud full of sparks. Upon inspection, the power cord (non-detachable) had burned right off the back of the heater and was lying a few inches away. Lesson: do NOT leave devices like that ON if you’re not at home. Have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, make sure your furnace and chimney are inspected every year, do not use outdoor-intended devices like heaters or grills indoors, and look out for ladder safety. Tip: if you have a gas stove (my preference), periodically pop the top and clean the white residue underneath it where the pilot lights are…this can cause carbon monoxide emissions and even douse the pilot, causing natural gas buildup and explosion hazards.

For walking on snow and ice, I just got a pair of YakTrax shoe accessories (mine glow slightly in the dark for visibility). They are really effective! They stretch to attach to the soles of most shoes, and have coiled rustproof wire along the bottom webbing that really bites into ice. Don’t wear ’em indoors, though; they’re skittery on ceramic tile and linoleum and could damage hardwood floors. I slipped on ice three years ago and broke my arm, but no more of that for ME! Check them out at

Enjoy the holidays, and let’s hope for a little peace and prosperity, and better care of animals, in 2011. (Please don’t leave Fido or Fluffy out in freezing weather!)



  1. [Also, don’t forget that some holiday snacks are poisonous to pets, especially dogs, including chocolate and grapes – or especially – raisins. Too many table scraps with high fat content are not healthy for the critters either.]

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