During this time of year, most people take part in activities that have the potential to increase risk for your loved ones and your property. While most people are concentrating on spending time with friends and family, buying gifts, and organizing travel over the holidays, it's equally crucial to maintain the security and safety of your property during this potentially hectic time.
Indeed, the holiday season may be stressful, and the possibility of a fire, theft, or catastrophe only serves to heighten it. However, there are several measures you may take to reduce anxiety and gain peace of mind.
How to Keep Your Home Safe During the Holidays
Here we share four suggestions to help you keep your home and property safe during the holiday season.
#1 Keep Your Holiday Lights Off the Naughty List
All those twinkling lights may put you in the holiday spirit, but they can also spark a fire. Use caution when purchasing the strings of lights for decorating and make sure they are flame-resistant. Prior to placing them on your tree, examine your older lights closely. Be prepared to replace any lights that have frayed wires, damaged sockets, or cords that are tightly coiled.
When choosing electrical products, look for a certification mark like UL or ELT, and be cautious to avoid overloading extension cords. Keep all pets and children away from any electrically powered decorations or light strings. Switch holiday lights off when leaving your property or when going to bed each evening.
#2 Take Precautions with Decorations and Holiday Trees
Pulling out the treasured ornaments from your family archives may bring a smile to your face, but be aware that older decorations may have been painted with lead paint. If you have the slightest suspicion that lead paint could have been used, choose to treasure those ornaments in private.
In addition to lead paint concerns, make certain that you only use ornaments that are nonflammable or fire-resistant. Also, avoid decorations that have sharp edges or are trip hazards if you have small children or elderly family members in your home.
Additionally, moving parts or tiny parts are a choking hazard and should be kept away from young children. Keep any loose parts in a safe place.
If you decide on an artificial tree, look for a “fire-resistant” label, and no matter the type, place your tree up high and away from any heating elements including portable heaters, radiators, and fireplaces. About one out of every six Christmas tree fires are caused by heat sources that are too close to the tree. Make sure to water live trees regularly and check to be sure there are no decorations blocking any entrances or exits to the home.
#3 Keep Your Property Secure
Criminals may be keeping an eye on your property while you are busy taking part in holiday activities. So, when leaving your house, take additional care to secure all of the doors and windows.
It is recommended that you leave a TV on so that it appears that someone is home. Also, consider keeping your lamps on a timer so that they turn on when the sun goes down. Security cameras inside your property give you an extra sense of security, and it is best to also have exterior cameras placed in the front and rear of your property as well.
Take care and do not blatantly display goods or gifts near windows where they can be easily seen. If you plan to be gone for an extended amount of time, ask someone to pick up your mail or newspapers so that it is not obvious that you are away from your property. It’s a good general idea to have a trusted friend or family member check on the property frequently while you are away.
#4 Ensure Your Guests’ Safety
Consider these safety suggestions as you get ready for visitors:
As your guests fill your home over the holidays, be aware of the flow of traffic, the ease of access to all exit points, and any trip hazards that may exist throughout the entertaining areas. Remove all unnecessary items that may cause anyone to trip or be trapped in the home should the unthinkable occur.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, unattended cooking is the main cause of house fires in the United States. The kitchen is where two out of every five house fires begin, so make the choice to never leave the kitchen unattended when cooking is taking place.
An Ounce of Prevention
This holiday season, you can help safeguard your family and property by taking a few simple steps. A proactive safety strategy is worth its weight in eggnog around the holidays as it provides peace of mind. You'll feel more at ease attending holiday festivities knowing that you've taken precautions to protect your property and belongings.
If you have any questions regarding keeping your property secure throughout the year, if you need assistance filing an insurance claim or would like a free policy review, contact Reliant Insurance Adjusters. We wish you a peaceful, safe and happy holiday.