December 11, 2020
Essential Holiday Safety Tips For The Home
The sight of twinkling lights and the smell of baked cookies all over the neighborhood can mean one thing only: the holiday season has arrived. With that usually come lots of cooking, decorating your home, and good cheer.
Unfortunately, this is also the time of the year when problems often unexpectedly arise. Snow damage, home fires, burglaries, and injuries, are just a few of the things that can go wrong. Following our essential holiday safety tips for the home below will, however, go a long way to protect you and your family against these events.
Reducing fire risks
Cooking-related fires. Did you know that cooking is the main cause of home fires in the US? In 2018 alone there were on average no less than 470 home cooking fires every day, with huge spikes on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Help to prevent this by:
- Frying with care. Remember that deep-frying is a lot riskier than roasting. More than half of home cooking fires are ignited by oil, grease, or fat. Follow FEMA’s safety guidelines if you choose to deep-fry.
- Staying in the kitchen while you are cooking. The vast majority of cooking fires are started when people leave the fryer or stove unattended.
- Keeping a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
Candles are another major fire risk. Make sure you:
- Never use real candles on Christmas trees
- Put them out if you plan to be out of the room for a long time
- Keep burning candles at least 3 feet away from pets, kids, and flammable objects
- Always place candles on flat surfaces
Numerous heating-related fires are caused every year by people making simple mistakes. Make sure you do the following:
- Have a professional furnace inspection and chimney sweep every year
- Do not hang garlands, stockings, or other holiday decorations close to heating sources
- Do not throw wrapping paper into your indoor fireplace
- Install properly working carbon monoxide detectors in or close to sleeping areas
Holiday lights and Christmas trees
Both are major sources of fires. In fact, they cause about 160 home fires every year. Most of these fires could have been prevented if people followed these simple steps:
- Make sure your Christmas tree is not near a heat source such as a fireplace, radiator, or space heater
- Check the wiring to make sure everything is correctly connected and there are no open wires
- Do not string together multiple extension cords
- Use LED lights. They are less likely to start a fire
- Do not run lights through windows or doors
- Don’t display a Christmas tree with unopened gifts in front of an open window
- Make sure windows and doors remain locked and secure
- If you are traveling, ask someone trustworthy to keep an eye on your property, pick up newspapers, and shovel the driveway so it won’t be obvious that there’s nobody at home
- If you don’t yet have one, invest in a home security system
Burglary rates often reach new heights during the holiday season. Here’s a couple of tips to keep your home safe:
Snow-related accidents and damage
Frozen pipes, ice dams, and icy driveways are just a few of the problems that can be caused by snow during the holiday season. Make sure you follow these simple steps to protect yourself and others:
- Keep your sidewalk and driveway clear by using a snowblower or shoveling off snow
- Drain all remaining water from sprinkler systems or outdoor faucets
- Make it more difficult for water to enter your house by sealing cracks along walls, windows, and doors and keeping gutters clean.