Most of us look forward to the holidays with anticipation. Family, friends and work gatherings, parties, events and food and treats make the winter holiday a favorite for people of all ages – but it’s smart to be aware of the risks. To protect your home and valuables, check out these handy home security tips:
Protect your home from the risk of fire.
Light is one of the most common causes of serious or fatal home fires. A candle, while it adds a lovely atmosphere to a room or table, is a serious fire hazard. The hot wax, when spilled, can ignite tablecloths, floors, draperies or furniture. Although the soft, warm light from candles is warm and soft, it is highly recommended that instead of wax candles, you buy LED lights that provide a similar soft light, minus the risks. The National Fire Protection Association reports that approximately 8,200 candle fires occur each year. In some cases, the entire home and all valuables in it are engulfed and gone forever.
Power cords and lamps
Decorating your home with string lights indoors, outdoors and on indoor holiday trees is a seasonal tradition. However, it’s important that the lights you use are safe and installed correctly, as about 45 percent of holiday tree fires start with string lights. Turn off the lights when you are away from home or when you are sleeping. Make sure the lamps you use have the Underwriter’s Laboratory Product Safety Logo (UL).
Can you check lights before placing them on a tree or around the home to make sure no cords are frayed or broken? If you plan to put lights outside, use plastic holders; never staples or nails. Place all extension cords in safe areas where they won’t be tripping hazards, and be aware that too many wires can overload an electrical circuit, leading to fire and losses that will make the holiday season a nightmare.
Change batteries in smoke detectors
Our home smoke detectors are a critical safety feature, but batteries don’t last forever. Replacing the batteries in these devices before the holidays is a smart way to protect your family and home. Since batteries must be replaced annually, make it a habit to replace them just before the holidays to ensure your family is alerted in the event of a fire.
Traveling on holiday?
Protecting your home and valuables is of utmost importance if you plan to travel during the holiday season. It is a sad fact that residential burglaries increase during the season. Burglars target homes with poor security features, where it is more obvious that the home is empty, especially homes in more secluded areas. Set timers on your interior home lights, secure your valuables like jewelry or other smaller items in a safety deposit box, and install a digital doorbell that alerts you when someone approaches your home. If you have a security company, make sure you inform them that you will be out of town.
Have guests visiting? Security issues.
If you plan to have relatives or friends live in your home, be aware that you may be liable in a lawsuit if someone is injured on your property. Make sure you have adequate home insurance and liability coverage. A serious injury, such as a slip on a slippery walkway, a trip, a fall, or even food poisoning, can lead to hospitalization or worse, and you could be on the hook for the bills. Your personal insurance can help you through these events without suffering a financial disaster.
Your personal insurance and holidays
It is recommended that your personal insurance policies are reviewed annually to ensure that you are adequately covered should an unexpected problem arise, whether it is a burglary, damage to your property or fire. For assistance, contact one of our local agents, who can help you find the protection for your home and valuables that best suits your situation at prices you can afford.