It’s that time of year again. Time to hang those lights, dust off those ornaments, and wait for the snow to fall. While the winter holidays are a joyous time of year, they also come with hazards and risks. Don’t fall victim to these holiday home hazards, and follow these holiday home safety tips instead.
Hang Holiday Lights with Care
Lights can make or break your holiday setup. Whether you’re stringing lights on the tree or creating a dazzling outdoor light display, always check your lights’ cords, plugs, sockets, and bulbs for damage before you use them. Stringing lights on your roof? Take extra care when climbing ladders, and use outdoor light clips or hooks to keep lights safely in place. And when you’re heading out or going to bed for the night, always remember to turn off or unplug those holiday lights – no matter how impressive they are.
Clear Sidewalks and Pathways
When the temperature drops and the snowflakes fall, the risk of slips and falls soars like Santa in his sleigh. Help keep accidents at bay by regularly shovelling and salting your sidewalk, walkway, and stairs. Stock up on salt before the fluffy stuff falls, so you’re not stuck scrambling to get some when the weather turns bad.
Mind the Christmas Tree
Christmas trees are a favourite holiday tradition among many, but they’re also one of the biggest fire hazards during the holidays. To avoid the risk of fire by the Christmas tree, always place your tree away from heat sources like radiators, space heaters, fireplaces, and candles. If you have a fresh tree, keep its trunk in water to help it stay fresher longer. And when its needles start shedding, it’s time to take down the decorations and get your tree chipped and composted. Follow these Christmas tree safety tips to avoid filing a home insurance claim this season.
Stay Warm – Safely
When winter hits, staying warm is key. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, avoid the temptation to toss in scraps of wrapping paper from Christmas morning. Instead, only burn small amounts of dry, seasoned wood, and keep a screen in front of the fireplace. If you use a space heater to stay toasty, keep it away from furniture and flammable items, and turn it off when you’re sleeping or away from home.
Make Your Home Look Lived In
Whether you’re lying on a beach in Mexico or skiing the slopes in Whistler this holiday season, don’t leave your home vulnerable to thieves when you’re away. Make your house looked lived in while you’re gone by setting a timer for your lights and temporarily stopping mail and newspaper deliveries. To keep an extra-close eye on your home, consider installing a security camera that alerts you when it detects motion, or have a trusted friend or family member house sit for you. And don’t forget that travel insurance if you’re heading out of the country.
While you celebrate the holidays this season, keep these holiday home safety tips in mind. For all of your home insurance needs, get in touch with our specialists today.
From all of us at Johnston Meier Insurance, we hope you have a wonderful holiday!