by Drew Fondren, Member Services Coordinator
The holidays can be a wonderful and busy time of year. With plenty of celebrations to attend and family gatherings to enjoy, you’ll likely spend time buying gifts, decorating, and traveling. What may not be top of mind is making sure your home is safe during the holiday season. For example, holiday lights beautiful and bright, can pose fire hazard without proper oversight.
To help you address potential safety hazards during a flurry of activities, here’s a quick list of safety precautions to help you keep your family and home safe during the holiday season.
Monitor Package Deliveries
If you have a lot of packages delivered while you’re not home, you may want to consider purchasing a smart doorbell with a camera. These types of doorbells connect to your mobile device and with the camera’s video, so you’ll be able to check in any time for peace of mind until you get home. Alternatively, ask a trusted neighbor or friend to pick up packages while your away.
Avoid Unwanted Attention
Throughout the holiday season, you want to make sure burglars aren’t attracted to your home. One easy way is to make sure any gifts are kept in a safe place and are not easily visible from the outside. Another tip off to burglars that you may not be home for the holidays is a dark house for days. When you’re away from home overnight, put lights throughout the house on timers to turn on and off according to your normal living pattern.
Prevent Holiday Lights Accidents
Before displaying lights, check each stand and throw way any with worn or frayed electrical wiring to avoid a potential shock hazard. While you’re assembling your holiday light display do not use more than three light sets on any one extension cord, which can cause problems with overheating. Be sure to use electrical outlets specifically designed for outdoor use if you use plug-in lights to decorate your home’s exterior, trees or yard. “Indoor only” lights that are used outdoors can be hazardous when exposed to the elements.
Use Caution with Candles
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 and pets around burning candles. Or, safer yet, consider using battery-operated candles for a flameless decorative glow.
Protect Your Christmas Tree
Place live trees safely away from radiators, vents, fireplaces and any other heat source that may dry the tree. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a heat source too close to a live tree causes more than one in every five fires. It is also essential to inspect your live tree for dryness daily. For extra safety precautions, keep a fire extinguisher near your live tree.
Taking the time to follow a few safety tips will help ensure that your holiday celebrations remain festive for your entire family. If you want to learn more about home safety, check out our members in the "Security Systems" section of our Membership Directory by clicking here.