With the Holiday season upon us, it is very easy to get lost in the moment and forget basic homeowner safety precautions. Unfortunately not everyone gets into the Holiday season; in fact, crime rates tend to rise from Thanksgiving to New Years.
Criminals aren’t the only possible threat to your home’s safety. Decorations and Holiday lights can also pose fire hazards.
This means that homeowners need to take a few precautions to keep your family safe.
- Now is a great time to install a home security system.! At the very least, make sure your front door is secured with a good quality lock – it can make a difference.
- If you plan to spend the holidays away from home be sure to ask a friend or neighbor to watch your house and take in your newspaper and mail.
- Put lights throughout the house on timers according to your normal living pattern. Not only does this allow you to not have to worry about turning the lights off at night, but can come in handy if you are out for the evening.
- If you are ordering gifts online, make sure a family member will be home when the boxes are delivered. Or, ask a trusted neighbor to keep the packages for you.
- Put gifts in a safe place that cannot be seen from outside of your home.
- If you are expecting a delivery, know the name of the delivery company and the time they expect to deliver your packages. Never open the door for strangers!
- Place Christmas trees a safe distance from stoves, radiators, vents, fireplaces and any other heat source that may dry the tree. Inspect the tree for dryness daily.
- Make sure trees or other large decorations do not block doors or hallways in your home.
- Keep a fire extinguisher near your Christmas tree. Make sure your family has a fire emergency escape plan. In case of fire, leave your home and call for help from a neighbor’s home.
Lights and Other Decorations
- Inspect all holiday light wiring. Defective, worn or frayed electrical wiring should be thrown away. Check for the UL label on lights. Also, be sure to use fixtures specifically designed for outdoor use if you decorate your house, trees or yard.
- Use no more than three light sets on any one extension cord. Also, don’t run electrical cords under rugs. Be sure all lights are turned off before you go to bed or leave the house.
- Candles are one of the top causes of holiday-related fires. Place candles and other open flames away from decorations. Never leave burning candles unattended and always supervise children when burning candles.
- When buying artificial decorations, check for “flameproof” or “fire retardant” qualities.
Taking the time to follow a few safety precautions will help ensure that your holiday celebrations remain festive and safe for your entire family.