As kids mark the final hours till Santa arrives and parents frantically prepare for last minute hiccups, the holidays can become overwhelming. During all the frantic moments, families may lose sight of some important items that can have a huge impact on the family and the home. With money spent on gifts, travel and decorations, families should want to keep those items safe during the season.
During the holidays, some unfortunate occurrences, like theft and home hazards can increase. The news is filled with people who have had packages taken from a front door. Additionally, an empty home may be a target for thieves. Why these topics are unpleasant, the topics should be discussed.
In addition, home hazards can increase over the holiday. Kitchen hazards can happen. What about the accidental lighting the sister-in-law on fire as she was cooking at the stove (true story)? Between kitchen blunders and overloaded circuits, families should take notice to prevent unforeseen issues.
Allstate understands that these topics can be a scary conversation, but certain precautions can keep the holiday season festive and merry. Allstate offers these tips to secure your home and prevent common holiday hazards during the holidays:
- When in plain view, gifts and valuables serve as an invitation to thieves. Hide purchases in your car trunk when shopping and don’t display them in the window of your home. Put your valuables away before hosting people at your home.
- When sending a package, ensure someone is aware of the gift’s anticipated arrival and will be home at the time of delivery.
- Have your chimney inspected and cleaned annually before the holidays begin to ensure it’s safe for use.
- Never leave burning candles or fireplaces unattended, and keep trees or other flammable items away from fire.
- Check holiday lights, throwing away any that are broken, and don’t overload the outlets. Only lights and extension cords specified for outdoor use should be used outside.
Food & Cooking
- Before the holidays, install new batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure that family members can locate and operate fire extinguishers.
- Be careful in the kitchen. Keep a close watch on cooking food and don’t leave the stove unattended.
- Try to focus on one thing at a time while cooking, and enlist help if you need to take on multiple tasks.
- Whether it’s “check-ins” using geo-location services, travel plan updates, or even photos uploaded while at a holiday party, people may be unknowingly giving today’s “digital thieves” greater insight into the contents of your car or home, and the times when you’re away from them.
- If kitchen or bathroom pipes are located near exterior walls, leave the cabinet doors open to help circulate warmer air around the pipes.
- In order to prevent water from freezing and increasing pressure on pipes, leave taps slowly dripping if extremely cold weather is anticipated during travel.
- During heavy snowfall, hire a professional to keep your home’s roof and gutters clear.
- Make sure your attic is properly ventilated – the colder the attic, the less melting and refreezing on your roof.