With the holiday season underway, you’re decorating the office, sprucing up your desk in seasonal decor and taking part in the office potluck…but are you celebrating safely? Find out by reading the tips below.

7 Steps to a Safe Office Potluck

  1. Check for safe food-handling directions and guidelines
  2. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling food
  3. Serve prepared dishes on clean plates – never on dishes that previously held raw meat
  4. Keep hot foods hot; USDA notes that hot foods should be kept at 140° F or warmer; use chafing dishes or slow cookers
  5. Keep cold foods cold – at 40° F or colder – by placing dishes in bowls of ice or by serving in small batches and replenishing from the refrigerator as needed
  6. Say no to foods that have been sitting out at room temperature for more than two hours
  7. When planning your menu, be mindful of co-workers’ food allergies

For more food safety tips, check out this BSA Safety Moment. Additionally, Safety+Health magazine offers these tips to help prevent injuries while celebrating on the job.

Tips for Festive, Yet Safe, Decorations

  • When hanging decorations, use a step ladder; never stand on a chair
  • Don’t hang decorations from fire sprinklers
  • Inspect all lights, decorations and extension cords for damage before using
  • Avoid overloading electrical outlets with too many decorations or devices
  • Extension cords should never be placed in high-traffic areas or under rugs, carpets or furniture; never nail or staple extension cords to walls
  • Use appropriate length extension cords; never connect two cords together
  • Make sure paths are clear of tripping hazards
  • Turn off all indoor and outdoor electrical decorations before leaving

How to Stay Safe at Home
The home is the heart of the family around the holidays. So deck those halls and let it snow – but keep safety top of mind.

  • Fire risk increases as holiday candles and fireplace use increases. In December, 12% of home fires begin with candles, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Working smoke alarms cut the chances of dying in a home fire in half. Keeping live trees watered and avoiding the use of turkey fryers also keeps fire hazards down.
  • When giving gifts be sure to check the Consumer Product Safety Commission for recalls, and avoid small parts – like button batteries – that can harm or even kill young children.
  • When entertaining guests, make sure any prescription medications are out of reach and locked up. If you – like 60% of Americans – have leftover drugs in the house, locate a drug take-back program. In the U.S., one person dies every 24 minutes from a prescription opioid overdose and most people who misuse opioid pain relievers obtain them from a friend or family member.
  • Did you know live Christmas trees are one of the most dangerous fire hazards in homes during this time of year? Be sure to keep your Christmas tree watered to keep your home safe. Learn more about holiday fire safety here.

How is your council celebrating this holiday season? Share your office stories with us in the comments below!

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