“It’s the holiday season,” sings Andy Williams, and indeed it is! During the hectic weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we busy Americans might get stressed, but we do also try hard to be of good cheer! And keeping our homes safe and sound is one way to keep our holidays happy despite the busy-ness and stress.
The holidays bring with them not just parties and shopping, but also candles, rickety ladders, Christmas trees, electric lights, extension cords, busy kitchens, packages on doorsteps, and a general carelessness that can result from being over tasked, in addition to other risk factors. To help you keep not just your sanity but your home safe and secure throughout December, we offer some seasonal safety tips for you:
- When you start prepping to hang lights, whether outside, inside or on the tree, check those lights for any fraying or exposed wiring. If any lights are questionable, set them aside for recycling, even if it means you’ll have to buy more lights this year. (Wouldn’t you rather make a trip to the hardware store for new lights than call 911 for a house fire?)
- Turn off outdoor Christmas lights as well as the tree lights and any other decorative lighting before you leave the house for work or go to bed at night. If you’re away for the holidays and don’t want to broadcast an empty house to potential burglars, put your lights on timers.
- When putting up lights, keep your extension cords to a minimum, never plugging one into another for a longer cord. Also be careful about creating tripping hazards by running extension cords across sidewalks, steps or porches.
- Follow our Christmas tree safety tips, for a tree that will stay fresher, longer, decreasing the risk of fire.
- Use common sense with candles. Keep candles away from drapes or the edges of tables where they might get knocked over. Also make doubly sure every single candle is out before you go to bed!
- Practice fire prevention! According to the Red Cross, over 47,000 house fires happen during the holidays. Check the Red Cross’ tips for preventing house fires during the holidays.
- Keep up and ramp up your home security measures. Crime doesn’t take a holiday, and estimates are that 400,000 home break-ins occur between November and December in the U.S. Take steps to ensure you’re not one of the victims, and keep in mind that most burglaries happen in broad daylight.
- Also be mindful of packages being left on your doorstep. Consider having boxes sent to your work address instead or find some other way to make sure you won’t have those tempting packages sitting there not only easily stolen, but telling the bad guys “no one’s home” at the same time.
- And if you’ll be traveling and away from home, review our seven tips for keeping your home safe while away.
We wish you nothing but good cheer this year, and if we can do a little something to ensure your home is a safe and secure place to enjoy that good cheer, so much the better!