In the greyness of January, when Christmas seems like a distant memory, it’s easy to forget that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner (consider this your early reminder). The celebration of love, hearts and chocolate is a wonderful break from the February gloom, but it does pose its own unique set of safety hazards. Here are some ways to make sure that you stay safe and happy this Valentine’s Day.
What could be lovelier than a candlelight dinner or bath for the object of your affections? That’s a matter of taste, but a fire is certainly not going to help set the mood. To help things run smoothly, remember that lit candles should never be left unattended.
You should also consider the type and placement of candles to help minimise risk. Naked flames should be kept away from flammable things like piles of paper and curtains. They should also be well back from the edge of a surface, so they are less likely to get knocked over.
If you want lots of candles on every available surface, choose tealights for safety and cost. They can be very cheap when bought in bulk, and are also much harder to spill or tip than taper candles, on account of their large base and low height. Choose the sort with a metal casing to avoid wax spills, which can be very difficult to get out of fabrics, and can even burn them if hot enough.
If you’ve decided to avoid the busy restaurants and celebrate at home, make sure you’ve made careful cooking plans, particularly if you’re attempting something outside your comfort zone. If at all possible, practice ahead of time to avoid burning, undercooking or otherwise spoiling what should be your moment of triumph.
While it’s often best to stick to what you know, making sure you have all your ingredients and tools laid out at the beginning can help the process go smoothly. It’s also important to stay nearby, even if something is merely sitting in the oven or simmering. Beforehand, check the batteries in your smoke alarm for your peace of mind.
Lock up and set the alarms
On the other hand, if you’re heading out for dinner, drinks or both, make sure to lock up thoroughly, and set the burglar alarm. Because so many people like to have an evening out for Valentine’s Day, thieves are more likely to be on the hunt for vulnerable houses to target, expecting empty homes.
Since most burglaries of this kind are opportunistic, it is easy to put off many would-be burglars by making the house a difficult target. While some people like to leave a few lights or even the radio on to give the impression that people are at home, there is no substitute for a thorough home security plan. Close all of your windows, and lock them if possible. Lock all of your doors, and make sure valuable possessions or keys are not on display. Set the alarms on your way out, and you’re all set to find your home as you left it when you get back.