Cindy Speaker:  Good afternoon and welcome to our show today. My name is Cindy Speaker and I have with me today Attorney David Daggett of Daggett Shuler Attorneys at Law. David-

David Daggett: Hi, Cindy. How you doing? Happy holidays.

Cindy Speaker:  You too. It’s good to see you.

David Daggett: Yeah. I actually meant to wear my Christmas necktie and I forgot. So, darn.

Cindy Speaker:  And I don’t have the right colors on either. We blew it. Well, there’s still time, because the holidays are approaching, but they’re not here.

David Daggett: We match, though.

Cindy Speaker:   Yeah. That’s right. It’s good. It’s good.

David Daggett: Yes.

Cindy Speaker: Well, David, we’re going to talk about the holidays today. We’re going to talk about holiday safety.

David Daggett:  Right.

Cindy Speaker:  And there’s a lot of things that people don’t think about, but start us off with some safety issues and things about the holidays that we should be mindful of.

David Daggett:  Sure. So, happy holidays to everybody. And the holiday season should be a time for family fun, and it should be the best of times. The problem is, those best of times can turn into an instant tragedy if you’re not careful.

And I’m going to start off with the drinking and driving and going to holiday parties and that sort of thing. And, quite frankly, there’s just no excuse anymore for that with Uber and all the different alternatives. I don’t think there was an excuse before, but now there just really isn’t.

So, please, please, please everybody, for yourself, for others, for other families out on the road, be careful at holiday season. And I always like to mention your family, Cindy, because you’ve been through that with the loss of your father and so you know, personally, just how big of an issue that is.

Cindy Speaker:  Yeah. It really is. Yeah.

David Daggett: And that risk is there any time of the year, but it seems to be magnified a little bit during the holidays.

So, I usually like to look at three different things. One is when you’re out shopping and out in the community and those sorts of things during the holidays and that’s one area that we can get into.

Second is holiday safety inside your home. And third, we touched on a little bit, is whether you’re hosting or going to holiday parties, the safety issues there.

So, those good?

Cindy Speaker: All good. All good.

David Daggett: Okay. So, inside your home, Christmas trees, the lights, all those sort of things. The fire marshals at the business here, they come around and they check and they won’t let you string extension cords together and those sort of things. Well, that’s for a reason. It’s not safe to do that and you shouldn’t do that around your home either.

Unfortunately, during the holiday season, the instance of having fires goes up. A lot of that is electricity and extension cord related. Additionally, the space heaters. Those sort of things are in the winter. They’re not necessarily holiday related, but they’re winter related.

Cindy Speaker:  And is it true that you really shouldn’t use extension cords on any of these types of things?

David Daggett: Yeah. You shouldn’t string them together, no. No. No. So, what you should do is a surge protector is much safer than just an extension cord, all right?

Cindy Speaker:  That makes sense, yeah.

David Daggett: An extension cord is for use with a power tool or something like that, not a permanent connection to leave up for a month, okay? So, the connections aren’t good. They can overheat. They can cause fires. The fire marshals will say that is a no-no.

Particularly if you have a Christmas tree in the house, Christmas trees add to the flammability. So, speaking of which, people tend to have more candles around the house during the holidays. And so, you want to be very, very careful with candle safety. In fact, I think you know, my parents had a house fire due to candles.

Cindy Speaker:  So did my sister.

David Daggett: Yeah. Yeah. So, you want to be careful with that.

Cindy Speaker:  Yeah. Absolutely.

David Daggett:  So, you got lights inside. You got lights outside. You got candles. You got extension cords. Let’s just be very, very careful, all right? So, that’s around the house.

Out in public and out shopping … When you go out shopping you tend to be a little bit more exposed during the holiday season. You have gifts in your car or gifts with you and, to some people, that becomes an attractive opportunity. You become an attractive target.

So, you want to park near lights. You want to look into your car before you get in. You want to do all those safety things, because people … We hate to think that way, but there’s people out there that will take advantage of the holiday season for their own profit.

Another area with that is where people are doing more and more Christmas shopping online. And one of the biggest epidemics we have, with regard to shopping, is boxes being dropped on your porch and somebody taking your box. So, if you know a box is going to be delivered, most things are tracked online now, so you know when they’re coming.

Have them delivered when you’re going to be at home or have them sent to your place at work. I will add a caution on there, as a owner of a business, you don’t want an avalanche of packages hitting an office. I mean, that’s not … So, you just got to use some common sense on that.

But you don’t want your packages to be stolen off your porch. So, be careful. Have a neighbor look at it. Our 15-year-old son, [Riley], some of the neighbors have him run by after school just to check their porch.

Cindy Speaker: Oh, that’s great. Yeah.

David Daggett:  So, get a neighbor kid to do that and give them a couple dollars and everybody’s happy, so …

Cindy Speaker: Yeah. Right.

David Daggett:  So, there’s that. Just, you got to be red alert and mindful when you’re out and about. It’s getting dark earlier, so you just want to use your street smarts and be a little extra cautious, particularly with presents, leaving things in your car where people can look in and see them. Car break-ins tend to go up this time of year, so you just don’t want to be a victim of that. And if you just are smart and use good common sense, you can avoid some of those pitfalls during the holiday season.

And then, hosting holiday parties. As a host, remember you can be responsible or liable if one of your guests … If you knew, or should have known, that they were impaired and you provided them with alcohol and they leave and cause a tragedy somewhere, you can be responsible as the host.

So, again, none of us wants that to happen to us and not because of liability, we just don’t want it to happen. So, you got to keep a little bit of an eye on your guests. Serve nonalcoholic beverages also. Make sure that you have snacks and food so that the only activity isn’t drinking. And we don’t want to dampen anybody’s fun, we just want to be smart about it to keep people safe and make sure you’re not held responsible.

And then when you’re out in public, or at somebody else’s party, those same rules are in effect. The drinking and driving over the holidays, it can be a real trap that people can slip into and you just want to be aware of that and you want to be very, very cautious.

Cindy Speaker:  Well … and you had said earlier, and I think it’s so valuable to have services like Uber and Lyft in these situations.

David Daggett: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Cindy Speaker:  Or a designated driver. We used to always talk about the designated driver, but now we have other options as well-

David Daggett: Yeah. We have plenty of options. Plenty of options.

Cindy Speaker: To be responsible.

David Daggett: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. There’s just no reason not to be responsible. The one thing I always like to say, and when I speak to high school students I always say this, is have your plan in advance. You don’t want to have to make your plan at the point you’re stuck in the trap, okay?

So, make your plan in advance as to what you’re going to do and how you’re going to handle a situation so that you’re not under the pressure of the moment, make a bad decision that can haunt you forever.

Cindy Speaker: That’s good advice. It really is. And all of these tips … A lot of these things, we just don’t think about them, but they are things that need to be on our radar, because you can be caught in really bad situations, whether it’s out shopping or at a party. So, I think it’s great. All of these things, really helpful.

David Daggett:  Or, as simple as, you string those extension cords together and is it likely to happen? No, but what if the dog and cat chase each other through the house, they hit the wire, pull it apart a little bit, that’s where the spark occurs and all of a sudden, you have a tragedy. It’s not worth the risk.

Cindy Speaker: Yeah, absolutely. Well, David, thanks so much for these tips. And I’m thinking, as the holidays approach, we don’t want to be too negative here, we want people to be cautious-

David Daggett:  Oh, absolutely.

Cindy Speaker: But we also want them to enjoy the excitement of the holidays, because it’s a wonderful season.

David Daggett:  We want everybody to have a safe and happy holiday season. That’s what it should be. Follow a few simple tips and it will be, so …

Cindy Speaker:  Yeah, absolutely. Well, David, if anybody wants to reach out to you, how can they do that?

David Daggett:  The best place is our website. We have tips on there, daggettshulerlaw.com or they can call us at 336-724-1234.

Cindy Speaker:  Very good. Well, David-

David Daggett: Happy holidays everybody!

Cindy Speaker: Happy holidays to you. Certainly good talking to you.

David Daggett: Good talking to you, Cindy. We’ll see you in 2019.

Cindy Speaker: That’s right. Okay. Well, thanks everybody for being with us, whether you’re live or on the replay. You have questions or comments, or you just want to reach out and say, “Hi” to David, he’ll respond. He’s very good about responding to people.

David Daggett: Yeah. Just leave your comments below, and we’ll be sure to respond to every one of them.

Cindy Speaker:  That’s right. Okay. Thanks, everybody. Have a great day.

David Daggett: Thanks. ‘Bye, ‘bye.

Cindy Speaker:  ‘Bye.