With all the fun, lights, decorations, and parties, it’s important to also stay safe and protect your home by taking some precautions so you can better enjoy this merry season. Below are a few Holiday Safety Tips so you can maximize your enjoyment of the most wonderful time of the year.
Keep Your Travel Plans Offline
If you’re planning to go out of town this holiday season, watch what you post on social media. Never post where you are going or when you are leaving. A thief would love to know this information because then they know when your house is empty. Regardless of your privacy settings on social media, posting this information is never advised.
Notify a Neighbor
If you are traveling this holiday season, let a trusted neighbor know to keep an eye out and report any suspicious activity. Ask them to pick up your mail and newspapers and keep your walkway cleared of snow. This deters thieves from burglary by making it look like someone is home.
Stop Newspaper Delivery
If you’re not going to be home for a few days, stop your newspaper delivery. Newspapers piling up at the front of your home is a Hollywood cliche for someone on vacation or away for the holidays. So unless you have a neighbor to pick them up for you, make sure to stop newspaper delivery for the duration of your trip.
Hide Any Christmas Gifts
Putting pretty Christmas gifts under the tree looks nice, but also can look inviting to a burglar. So make sure gifts can’t be seen from outside your home as glass windows can easily be broken by a burglar hoping to grab all of your gifts. Same goes for fancy electronics that aren’t meant as gifts but are out in the open.
Check Your Trash
Some thieves will even dig through your trash to see if you might be a good target after receiving fancy gifts. Be sure to tear apart any packaging of expensive gifts such as jewelry or electronics to minimize the risk of tempting them to rob you of it.
Watch Your Christmas lights.
December is the deadliest month for electrical fires. If you’re going to string out lights, make sure to check for frayed chords or cracked lamps. Additionally, use inspected and tested lights, don’t run lights through windows or a crack in the door, and make sure to turn them off before you go to bed. Try to use a timer if possible to keep your lights on a schedule while you’re away and make it look like your house is still occupied. An electrical safety hazard can spoil the merry mood so make sure not to overload circuits and don’t daisy chain extension chords. Keep it one and done. One extension cord to the lights per outlet.
Your Holiday could be ruined if your fireplace causes a house fire. Make sure you keep fireplace decorations, gifts, and your Christmas tree a safe distance away from the fire as they are highly combustible. Before using your fireplace each year, it is recommended to have a professional inspect and clean your chimney to prevent the chance of a chimney fire.
Keep Your House Looking Occupied At All Times
An occupied house should appear lived in. Invest in timers for lights to come one or if you’ve got smart lightbulbs or other smart devices you can use an app to have them turn on at specified times while you’re away to deter would-be burglars. You could also ask your neighbor to take your garbage or garbage bins out and back in after garbage pick-up to keep your home routine looking normal.
The holidays may be the most wonderful time of the year but it can be the most dangerous time of the year for some pets. Don’t let your kitty turn your Christmas tree into a playground. If you can, set the tree up in a room that can be closed off. Some suggest securing your tree with fishing line to the ceiling or other furniture so if your cat does decide to climb the tree, it doesn’t come crashing down. Take appropriate safety precautions when lighting candles, menorahs, and other luminaries. Don’t leave your pet alone with them! Before decking the halls with holly and mistletoe, think twice. These plants might get you feeling holly and jolly but they can be toxic to pets! Keep candy, especially chocolate out of reach of pets. And it doesn’t even have to be candy. If you can name it, there’s a pet who will eat it… from holiday decor…. to underwear. So keep your home clutter free and clean and remember to keep an eye on your animals this holiday season.
Secure ALL Points of Entry
Here’s an easy one. If you’re not going to be home this holiday season, make sure you lock all of your doors and windows. If you’ve got a pet door, you’ll want to lock that as well.
Pull the Plug on Electronics
If you’re going away for the holidays, unplugging the TV, computer, and coffee maker can save you some money while you’re gone. While you’re at it, unplug your automatic garage door. Some thieves are embracing technology and could use a universal remote to gain access to your home through your garage door.
Install Added Security Features
It’s always a good idea to install a home security system. You can easily setup a home security system, whether it’s a DIY system like a ring video doorbell to a few nest cameras or a professional security system installed by pros. Having an alarm and especially having cameras is going to help make your property seem less attractive to burglars.