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3 Quality Management Tips to Reduce Safety Risks this Holiday Season

Emily Ysaguirre
by Emily Ysaguirre on Wed, Dec 23, 2015

3 Quality Management Tips to Reduce Safety Risks this Holiday Season

The holidays are a great time to spend with family and friends and spread good cheer! It’s also an important time to practice safety.  This post will show how you can apply some of the best practices of the Quality Management System to help reduce risks this holiday season. Here’s how functionality like audit management, training and risk management could help.

1. Manage Winter Cold Preparation with Audit Management

One thing that typically comes with the holiday season is the cold.  Okay, so we may not be experiencing winter weather just yet, but it’s around the corner. If we’ve learned anything from last winter it’s that it is important to be prepared. Creating checklists is a great way to stay ahead. You will be able to tell what you have and what you’ll need in the wake of an emergency.

Here are some tips for being prepared before the snow hits:

  • Check on your emergency supply kit: you’ll want to have water, non-perishable foods, flashlights, batteries, a battery powered radio and rock salt.
  • Figure out a family emergency plan: where to go and what to do in an emergency.
  • Check out the exterior of your home: make sure there are no loose tree branches, damaged roofing or shingles and disconnect the garden hose so it cannot freeze and burst.
  • Ensure your car is winter ready: tires are in good condition, fluid levels are full and wiper blades and bulbs are functioning properly.

You could borrow from quality best practices and use an Audits System to help in this process.  Using audit management to automate the process of checklists helps you respond to issues quickly and as they happen—ensuring you’re always a step ahead.

2. Teach Proper Holiday Indoor/Outdoor Light Use with Training Management

It’s generally safer to assume that indoor lights are specifically for indoor use and outdoor lights are for outdoor use.  When using outside lights the voltage is different than indoor lights and they also have a toxic finish to help withstand weather. Bringing light fixtures indoors that are specifically labeled to be outdoors could expose you to dangerous chemicals and increase the risk of fire.

That said, lights labeled for either indoor or outdoor use must be inspected each year for frayed wires, bare spots and gaps. If they are broken or cracked or look excessively worn it is important to replace them. This could potentially save lives.

Do not overload electrical circuits! It is not safe to link more than three light strands (unless directions state otherwise) in one outlet. Be sure to check wires throughout the season--lights should never be warm to the touch. LED lights have proven to be much cooler, which not only indicates greater energy efficiency, but indicates that they are much more durable. Regardless of type, you may want to consider using a timer for a multitude of reasons—safety and cost are just a couple, but it is a good idea. Leaving lights on when you are away from home or going to bed could be the recipe for disaster.

Training  can reduce the risk of adverse safety events that could arise as the result of insufficient training. At home, you can ensure all family members are trained on their appropriate responsibilities—like unplugging lights and locking up the house before going to bed for the night. As stated above, timers are a helpful way to ensure that lights will always be turned off. This eliminates the need for manual processes and greatly reduces the risk of human error—in this case related to forgetfulness.

3. Ensure Candle Décor Safety with Risk Management

If you choose real candles as opposed to battery operated, ensure that they are in a stable holder or that they are placed in a spot where they cannot be knocked down. If you are leaving the room it is best to put the candles out.  Get more tips here to ensure holiday safety.

Risks are all around us. This season, reduce threats and stop problems from becoming catastrophic with risk management. For example— a fire that starts from a candle that is accidentally knocked over could have been prevented by ensuring that it was in a stable location. Predicting risks before they happen and training for events is the best way to mitigate harm, while putting controls in place for family members to follow to prevent undesired events this holiday season.

Accidents can happen even with the safest of practices, but it’s always better to be prepared. The best way to prevent risk this holiday season is to share this knowledge with family members. Think of it as family training. Create a system, so if one person happens to forget and leave the lights or a candle on, the next member is able to recognize the importance of unplugging or blowing it out.

Taking a cue from quality management processes can help you make better and more informed decisions when it comes to holiday décor safety and raise awareness and visibility into potential dangers, helping to keep you and your loved ones safe this holiday season.

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Emily Ysaguirre
Written by Emily Ysaguirre
Emily Ysaguirre is the Content Marketing Coordinator at EtQ, Inc.
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