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Holiday Safety a Must for Businesses


Berkley Mid-Atlantic Group Gives Safety Tips for the Season

RICHMOND, Va. (Nov. 26, 2013) – As the holiday season fills the air with cheer and excitement, many businesses eagerly anticipate its arrival as it often brings a festive — and sometimes more generous — spirit to the marketplace.

Amid the hustle and bustle, Berkley Mid-Atlantic Group (BMAG) encourages businesses and consumers to also keep an eye toward safety now that the holidays are upon us.

“It is extremely important to be alert while driving during the holiday season,” said Bill Raab, director of risk management services for BMAG. “Many families are on the road and accidents can happen very quickly, thanks to changing weather conditions and heavy traffic. Avoid aggressive driving and always give yourself plenty of time to make it to your destination.”

In addition to taking extra precautions while behind the wheel, BMAG also recommends paying particular attention to safety in the following areas.

Holiday decorations and lighting
Sprucing up your business for the holidays? These tips will help you avoid an accident that could harm you, an employee or a customer. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), emergency rooms treat 12,500 people for falls, cuts, shocks and burns from holiday decorations each year.

  • When purchasing an artificial tree, always look for the “Fire Resistant” label.
  • When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness — needles are hard to pull from branches and do not break when bent. When tapped on the ground, the tree shouldn’t lose too many needles.
  • Only use lights that have been appropriately tested and conform with all safety standards.
  • Check lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections.
  • If stringing lights outside, be sure that they are intended for outdoor use.
  • If using an extension cord, make sure it is rated for the intended use.


Black Friday
The day after Thanksgiving can be a boon for business, but it’s important to keep in mind these safety precautions from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to help businesses avoid injuries during the holiday shopping season.

  • When large crowds are expected, hire additional staff as needed and have trained security, crowd management personnel or police officers on site.
  • Prepare an emergency plan that addresses potential dangers facing workers, including overcrowding, crowd crushing, being struck by the crowd, violent acts and fire. Share your emergency plan with all local public safety agencies.
  • Provide legible and visible signs that describe entrance and exit locations, store opening times, and other important information such as the location of major sale items and restrooms.


Cooking and food preparation
Is your restaurant whipping up a traditional Thanksgiving meal or holiday treats for guests? The CPSC reminds consumers that the threat of fires in the kitchen triples on Thanksgiving Day.

  • If you’re frying, grilling or broiling food, always stay in the kitchen.
  • Only use a turkey fryer outside and away from your home or place of business. Never use it in a garage or on a porch.
  • Keep thawing turkeys at a safe temperature. The three safe ways to thaw food are in the refrigerator, in cold water or in a microwave oven.
  • For optimal safety, cook stuffing outside the turkey in a casserole dish.
  • Turkey cooking times will vary. The food thermometer must reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees.


Sources: Consumer Product Safety Commission, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

In the unfortunate event of an accident during the holidays, or anytime, BMAG provides personalized claim service that is responsive, compassionate and revolves around the needs of our agents and policyholders. To report a claim, call (877) 262-4178 or visit our website for more information.

About Berkley Mid-Atlantic Group
Berkley Mid-Atlantic Group, a W. R. Berkley Company, is a commercial lines property and casualty insurance group providing underwriting, loss prevention, claim, marketing and sales, as well as audit services for agents and policyholders. The company takes a generalist approach to the market, providing competitive coverage for all size businesses. Policies are issued exclusively through independent agents, who serve the company’s policyholders throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. For more information, visit our website at

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Media contact
Polly Roberts, 804.237.5292, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Twitter: @WRBMAG

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