The closer the holidays get, the more hectic our schedules tend to become. It seems like there’s a never-ending list of things to do, from shopping and wrapping presents to baking cookies and visiting friends or family. However, there’s one other task you also should add to your holiday checklist: making sure your home is safe and secure throughout the season.
Home Safety Tips for the Holiday Season
While people are out spreading holiday cheer, thieves are looking at this time of year as a greater opportunity to break into homes. Plus, December is the deadliest month for residential fires, too. Here are just a few ways to ensure your home is safe through the holidays:
- Check your holiday lights. Before you hang up all those twinkling lights, make sure the cords are in good shape and there’s no damage like fraying, cracked bulbs or loose connections. If the cord cannot reach the outlet, get an extension cord that’s long enough to reach it; never use more than one extension cord at a time. Also, don’t run extension cords through windows, as the window not able to close properly, making it easier for thieves to get in. If you find you need to buy new lights this year, try out LEDs because these are more energy-efficient. Plus, they don’t get warm and are less likely to set anything on fire.
- Don’t advertise travel plans. It’s easy to get excited about that trip you’ll be taking over the holidays and want to tell the world where you’ll be going, however, posting your plans via social media is not a good idea. You’re basically letting criminals know exactly when your home will be empty.
- Test your smoke detectors. As you’re baking dozens of cookies and decorating your home, setting out all those cherished holiday items and hanging garland and lights, use that as a reminder to test the smoke detectors throughout your home to make sure they’re all in good working condition. Also, never leave candles or fires burning unattended.
- Keep gifts out of sight. While festively-wrapped presents under the tree look beautiful, they can also be very enticing to thieves on the outside looking in. Likewise, after all those gifts have been opened, make sure to properly dispose of the packaging. Advertising that you received that flat screen TV, tablet, or other coveted items lets the world know what you’ve got inside your home for the taking.
- Clear the walkways and driveway. Help keep visiting family, friends, and yourself safe by making sure all the walkways and driveways are cleared of snow and ice. The last thing you want is for loved ones or friends to fall and hurt themselves while making their way into your home.
- Secure your home when you’re out. This sounds like common sense, but in all the hustle and bustle of the season it can be easy to forget to check that all your doors and windows are locked and secure before you head out for a day of shopping or a holiday party. If you store a spare key outside, make sure it is very well hidden or better yet, bring it in for the season.
Simply taking a few extra home safety precautions throughout the holidays will ensure you’ll keep your family safe, secure and enjoying all the joy of the season.