Are you and your family planning on taking a road trip this holiday season? Although wintertime provides the perfect opportunity for families to spend quality time together, it can also be a dangerous time to do some long-distance traveling, especially for drivers who are not used to icy road conditions. Icy road safety is essential for winter traveling, so be sure to follow these tips and keep yourself and your family safe this season.
Plan ahead. Icy roads are not conducive to spontaneous driving, so when planning your holiday excursions, be sure to plan your routes well in advance.
- Consider the weather forecast for that day, and plan your route around that. Map out the main route as well as alternate routes in case you’re caught in bad weather.
- Plan stops and hotel stays along the way and be flexible with your time.
- Remember to take your time as you navigate icy, dangerous roads. If the weather is expected to be too icy, consider postponing for another time.
- Have jumper cables, a flashlight, a gas can, scrapers, a shovel, flares and some blankets in the car, as well as a first aid kit and food, water and extra clothing in the car.
On the Road. Once on the road, the key is to be fully engaged and to pay attention to your surroundings. Some important tips to keep in mind while traveling:
- Always wear your seatbelt!
- Maintain steady speeds! Avoid accelerating too quickly or braking abruptly.
- Maintain longer stopping/following distances to prevent accidents.
- Avoid driving while tired. Stop if you feel like you’re falling asleep.
- Avoid areas with very wet or slippery conditions, and avoid driving up hills.
Cirro Energy is committed to your safety this holiday season, whether you’re planning to stay local or heading to see family in another state. That’s why we offer low-cost, budget-friendly electric plans for every household’s needs — one less thing to think about so you can plan for the family trip of a lifetime. Check out our electric plans online on our website, and join our online community of Facebook and Twitter.
Is holiday decorating one of your favorite parts of the holiday season? If so, you’re not alone! For many, getting into the seasonal spirit means putting up bright, beautiful lights and decorations. While this is an exciting part of celebrating the holidays, it’s important to remember some simple holiday light safety tips so you can celebrate with your loved ones without injury.
- Plan your design before you start hanging lights around your home. This will allow you to create a beautiful, cohesive design and, more importantly, it will enable you to map out where all of the electrical outlets are, what areas will be safest to hang lights from, and which parts of your perimeter you should steer clear.
- Make sure you have the right lights before you hang them. Look for a “UL” or “ETL” stamp on the packaging; this indicates that the lights have been certified safe by experts. If your strands have large bulbs, consider switching to strands that have smaller lights. Check your old lights for damage to the cord or frayed cords, as they can be a huge fire hazard. And whatever strands you use, be sure to look for a fuse at the end of the light plugs.
- Don’t use indoor lights outside. Outdoor lights are specially made to withstand outdoor conditions, so using the wrong type of strand outside can spell trouble. Outdoor lights are marked as such on the packaging.
- Don’t be shy about using extension cords. They are an indispensable part of holiday decorating, particularly if you’re doing anything outside. Just be sure not to overload them –that is, make sure not to plug too many things in one extension cord, as they do have a tendency to overheat when loaded past capacity.
- Be sure to steer clear of tacks or nails when hanging your lights outside, as they can puncture or damage the cords and create a potential hazard. Use insulated holders instead, which are specifically created for outdoor hanging jobs.
- Once the lights are hung and looking fabulous, be mindful of maintenance. Check strands and extension cords regularly, replace or take down damaged or burnt out lights promptly, and save on energy by turning off your lights when you are not home or before going to bed.
- Utilize a timer to ensure that your lights don’t stay on any longer than necessary. This simple investment can result in energy savings for years to come!
Need some decor tips for your home? When designing your display, consider things like:
- Where will the eye go first? Choose a focal point or centerpiece for your display and start there. Not sure what that will be? Perhaps a structural feature in your home or a tree in your front yard. Remember to use ladders safely when hanging lights, and get creative with your centerpiece.
- How many lights will I need? Consider sticking to the norm — 100 lights per 1 1/2 feet, and remember not to overload circuits. Evenly placed lights mean a clean, beautiful look, but they also mean properly loaded extension cords. Measuring the outside of your home is a great place to start.
- What elements will make my display stand out? To make your display pop, consider incorporating special lighting elements such as animated lighting and glitter spheres. For easy shrubbery or bush coverage, net lighting is an interesting and convenient alternative to single lighting strands. Whatever you decide, be sure to use waterproof lighting to prevent hazards.
Cirro Energy wants you to decorate and celebrate with your loved ones this holiday season, without worrying about your electrical plan. That’s why we offer budget-friendly plans for every family need. Check out our online community on Facebook and Twitter, and learn more about our low-cost electrical plans at the Cirro Energy website.
Does your family have a severe weather safety kit prepared in case of emergency? Through tornado seasons, flood season, or the winter months, it’s wise to have supplies and a plan prepared if worst comes to worst. This means discussing severe weather safety with everyone in the household and having a plan in place. As part of emergency preparedness, you should pack a weather safety kit, so you aren’t searching for important items in an emergency.
Pack enough supplies to last at least 72 hours, including:
- Water – one gallon per person, per day
- Food – at least three days’ worth of non-perishables, plus paper plates, plastic utensils and a can opener, if needed
- Radios – battery-powered radio and weather radio, plus extra batteries
- Flashlights – it’s a good idea to have more than one flashlight, along with extra batteries
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape – in case you need to create shelter
- First aid kit – this should include bandages, sterilizing pads/iodine and gauze, as well as basic medications like ibuprofen, aspirin, Benadryl and tums. You’ll also want to include dust masks to help filter the air.
- Personal necessities – personal hygiene supplies, medications and other needs specific to your family
- Pet supplies – if you have furry friends, include the food and supplies that they need as well!
- Basic tools – make sure to have a wrench or pliers, in case you need to turn off utilities, and some heavy duty work gloves
- Camping supplies – tent, compass and matches in a waterproof container
- Cleaning supplies – paper towels, garbage bags, moist towelettes, plastic ties, disinfectant and bleach
- Cash or traveler’s checks
- Clothing – a complete change of clothing for each person, including warm outerwear, rain gear and sturdy shoes. Make sure to update your clothing to meet the needs of growing kids.
- Bedding – one sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
- Cell phone – you’ll also want a whistle or horn, to signal for help
- Family documents – pack copies of your birth certificates, marriage licenses and other important documents in a waterproof container inside your kit.
Everyone in the family should know where the safety kit is stored, and you may even want to have multiple kits stored throughout your home. Additionally, you may want to build alternate safety kits to keep in the trunk of your car or in your desk at work. It’s best to be prepared, so review your family safety plan and teach your kids what to do in case of a fire, storm or other emergency. If family members are prepared, they’re much more likely to be calm and safe during a crisis!
Another tip to remember during the winter months is to be sure to monitor the weather and road conditions. Keep an eye out for icy roads and ensure you reduce your speed when driving, wear your seatbelt and go easy on the brakes. The best way to avoid an accident on an icy road is to simply stay off the roads until the risk subsides.
Teaching your family severe weather safety is a big part of thriving, and helping families thrive is important to Cirro Energy. That’s why we offer electric plans to fit your family’s needs and work within your budget. For more information on our low fixed-rate electric plans, visit the Cirro website. Visit us on Facebook and Twitter to connect with the online community.