Cooking food for the whole family is enough pressure. Add in the distraction of welcoming guests, catching up with relatives and chasing after the little ones – and it can be downright chaotic. Planning ahead will reduce your stress and help you execute a flawless and safe holiday party for everyone.

Follow these tips to plan a safe and stress-free holiday party:

  1. Prep your house. It’s natural to focus on cleaning and table placements, but don’t forget other big items, such as safety. Plug time in your calendar to test fire and carbon monoxide alarms, inspect gas fireplaces, service your furnace, and replace any frayed wires or loose-fitting outlets. Knowing your guests are safe will give you peace of mind.
  2. Develop a run-of-show. Create a timeline you can reference to remind yourself when you need to pop the turkey in the oven or move the potatoes off the stove. Include reminders to turn off the oven and burners to help prevent kitchen fires or emergency room visits. If you have helpers, assign names to each task so people aren’t running into each other and important steps aren’t missed.
  3. Plan around your power source. Outlet space can become scarce when plugging in extra slow cookers, holiday decorations and phone or tablet chargers. Plan your layout ahead of time to avoid overloaded circuits or tripping hazards. Consider putting labels above each outlet using masking tape and markers to remind you and your guests what goes where.
  4. Decorate for your crowd. Space can be cramped when accommodating the whole family. Opt for small and simple decorations to create a warm holiday look without overcrowding the room and creating safety hazards. Swap traditional candles for electric ones and upgrade old incandescent light strings to a more fire-resistant LED set. If using extension cords, check the label to know if it’s graded for indoor or outdoor use.
  5. Join the party. You’ve done all the planning and prepping, so take the time to relax and enjoy your company. Accept helping hands in the kitchen, let the dishes soak in the sink and don’t stress out about the burnt dinner rolls. Take part in the holiday festivities and share some laughs with your loved ones.

Find more ways to increase the safety of your home this holiday at www.dteenergy.com/safety.