Tons of Safety and Health Holiday Gift Ideas

What will all of the last-minute safety and health shoppers be buying this year?

There are thousands of possibilities from safety distributors, retailers, and popular online sites. Searching for "safety" at on Dec. 14 produced 561,629 results for everything from child safety drawer locks and protective goggles to gun safes and books about improving an organization's safety culture.

If you're shopping for yourself or for a fellow safety professional, registration for the 2012 AIHce conference (June 16-21, Indianapolis) opened Dec. 15, so that's an option. Registration forASSE's Safety 2012 (June 3-6, Denver) is available at discounted rates until March 30, 2012.

How about giving a flu shot to someone you love? CDC recommends one for everyone who is at least six months old, and HHS' website allows you to search by ZIP code to find a nearby location offering vaccinations. Flu activity usually peaks in January and February, so it's not too late to get a flu shot.

Several safety gifts make more sense if bought and used early. Wadsworth, Ohio-based No-Burn® Inc.'s Christmas Tree Fire Gard is a fire retardant to be sprayed on a freshly cut live tree. (The product's MSDS says it contains no hazardous ingredients but can cause severe eye irritation and should be stored away from concentrated acids and alkalines.) Fire extinguishers and smoke alarms are useful gifts for the holidays and any other season.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission urges consumers to buy only holiday lights that have been tested for safety by a nationally recognized laboratory such as UL. Extension cords should be checked to ensure they’re rated for the intended use, and outdoor lights should be certified for outdoor use and plugged into a ground-fault circuit interrupter-protected receptacle or a portable GFCI, the agency recommends.

UL recommends buying LED holiday lights because they use less energy and last years longer than incandescent light strings. Red UL Marks indicate lights for indoor/outdoor use, and green UL Marks indicate the lights are safe for indoor use only.

The "12 Days of Firewise" Wildfire Safety Tip Sheet from NFPA is a good resource for a hard-to-shop-for person living in a wildfire-prone location (or one that could experience wildfires). It mentions rakes, hedge clippers, snow shovels, and spark arrestors for chimneys so sparks won't escape to ignite something outside.

Posted by Jerry Laws on Dec 19, 2011