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Being Safe at Home, Especially During the Holidays

Be sure your fireplace, presents and tree don't cause hazards in your home during the holidays

While we all may have in our minds that the holidays are full of joy and happiness and excitement, the reality doesn’t always line up.  The holidays are filled with risk and potential for danger, but many don’t see it until it’s too late.  You’ll need to do whatever you can to be safe at home, especially when you’re looking at the risks of the holidays themselves.  Let’s take a look.

Safety at home during the holidays

Fireplaces mean risk

There’s nothing homier than enjoying a roaring fireplace with stockings hung.  However, stockings can easily catch fire, and that fire can cause a creosote build-up in their chimney that can very quickly lead to a house fire.  Fireplaces are beautiful and a great way to build ambiance, but make sure that you get your chimney cleaned before and after the holidays, if not regularly, to prevent any possible risk!  Also, consider moving your stockings after the obligatory photo.

Christmas lights mean risk

Hanging Christmas lights from doorframes or windows and even stretching them along your home’s roofline all pose a risk.  How?  Because those high-up locations are only accessible by a ladder, and ladders immediately post a fall risk.  Keep kids away and make sure that your ladder is dependable.

How secure is your tree?

In this case, we’re talking about both the tree falling over (if you have a large and heavy one) and the way that you light your tree.   Most LEDs are intended for Christmas trees, so they are cool to the touch, but that doesn’t mean that you should leave them unattended.  Make sure you avoid using candles or hot-touch lights and turn them off when you leave the room!  Hey, don't forget to water your live trees too, as being a dried out tree makes it more susceptible for being a fire hazard.

Theft rates are on the rise

Whether you are worried about porch bandits, or more traditional thieves that will sneak into your home through a window and steal someone’s Christmas surprise, both are more common this year than in previous years.  You’ll need to factor this in with fixes such as installing security cameras on your porches that will keep an eye on your parcels and making sure that all of your windows and doors are locked when you leave so that there is no easy opportunity.  Should you be leaving town for the holidays, be sure to check out our travel tips during the holidays.

Clutter is a recipe for disaster

Seriously.  Most of us have extra holiday decorations kicking around.  On the stairs, on the rails of those stairs, and all over strategic spots of the house.  While it all may look good, it’s not going to matter if you tumble down and hurt yourself.  Or your kids and/or pets.  Make sure that your Christmas decorations don’t impede safe movement throughout your home.  This means for your family and that those that come visit your home.  Be sure to check your liability insurance on your homeowners insurance, which covers guests getting injured while on your property.

You can do your part to keep your holiday's fun and adventurous.  It’s just about assessing the risks for what they are and focusing on the idea of protecting yourself, your home, and your loved ones from holiday disasters.  Preparation is key, and don’t be afraid to change it up as you go if you find other things that you can adapt and adjust to make them safer for everyone in your home.

Contact Harbour Insurance Services at (281) 520-4090 for any questions about your homeowners insurance or other personal insurance needs.