Avoiding liabilities this holiday season

Homeowners in New Mexico are typically held liable for accidents that occur in their home. During the holidays, the chances of accidents increase, but there are precautions people can take to mitigate injuries.

According to the National Safety Council, holiday decorations can pose risk in multiple ways. Electric cords should be kept out of walkways to keep tripping to a minimum. Lit candles should be kept out of the way of flammable items and covered, if possible. Christmas trees should be stable so they cannot be knocked over, and sharp figurines and other objects should be kept out of reach.

When hosting a party or get-together, there are a number of things homeowners should be aware of. While it may seem obvious, keeping food at proper temperatures is important to prevent food poisoning, and if people have known food allergies, food should be labeled with allergic ingredients. Being accountable with alcohol is a big responsibility, as accidents that occur due to driving under the influence increase tremendously during the holiday season. Offering non-alcoholic choices, designating non-drinking drivers and providing a car service will help cut down on alcohol-related incidents.

Owners of pets also have the responsibility of making sure they do not scare or harm houseguests. Increased noise and strange people in their environment can cause cats and dogs to either become skittish or aggressive. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals suggests securing a quiet room for pets to be in when there are guests around. Providing food, water and a comfortable place to sleep will help keep stress levels down for furry friends.  

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