Give the gift of safety this holiday season

Photo credit: camknows on Flickr

Photo credit: camknows on Flickr

We all like to buy gifts that are useful – but how about a gift that could save a life?

I saw such a gift, years ago, under the Christmas tree of some university roommates. It was a smoke alarm from my friend’s grandmother – unwrapped, still in its box, amidst other gifts that might seem more exciting at first glance.

This humble gift came with batteries installed – and that’s a major blessing because, after a night of festivity, the housemates went to bed without realizing a space heater had been left on right beside a couch occupied by an out-of-town guest. A blanket fell onto the heater and began to smoulder, setting off the new smoke alarm, which awoke the roommates in time – potentially saving their lives.

Unfortunately my friend never told his grandmother the value of her gift, even though I tried to convince him to. Grandma was pretty strict and would have given him heck for not being more careful, so I can see why he kept the news quiet. It’s too late to tell her now, since she is no longer alive, so all I can do is spread the word at gift-buying time.

Please keep this story in mind when you choose your gifts this year. Consider fire extinguishers, first aid kits, disaster supply kits, carbon monoxide detectors, safety goggles, high-visibility vests, bicycle lights, flares, protective gloves, and earplugs, just to name a few.

While they may not rank high in the excitement factor – compared to all the electronics and flashiness – safety-related gifts can do much more than provide entertainment.


6 thoughts on “Give the gift of safety this holiday season

  1. Nicole

    I think this is an excellent idea.

    My nephew just turned 18 and has his first car & job as an apprentice electrician. We are gifting him a suitable first aid kit for his car.

    1. Susan Post author

      Thanks for the kind words and good news to hear about your safety gift. And what a surprise to get comments from two Nicoles – one after the other!

  2. Nicole Hornett

    Great entry, Susan! I also love the idea of gifting things like swimming lessons for children (or adults, too, I suppose). Tweens may really get a lot out of lifeguard or babysitting courses. New & young workers aspiring for new jobs may appreciate having their first aid, H2S, fall arrest, food safe, etc. training paid for. Adults may enjoy the opportunity to try out an e-course (say, from CCOHS?).

    For the cyclist, ATV-rider or equestrian, a gift certificate to select a new helmet may be highly appreciated! ATV/Equestrian helmets should be replaced every 5 years unless they’ve sustained a fall/drop. Do you know, are bike helmets the same?

  3. Sarah Wheelan

    You’re right! Such gifts may not rank high on excitement factor, but what better way to show how much you care about the well-being of another, than to give a gift that could save their life (and that they may not see as a priority purchase themselves).

    A great share!


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