According to the National Fire Protection Association, 30% of home fires occur during the months of December, January, and February. The holiday season also has the second highest burglary rate of each year. With so much happening with Christmas shopping, Holiday travels, Christmas dinner, and New Years, we can forget some important safety practice that will either make this holiday a positive memory or a negative one. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
1) Package Theft
11 million homeowners were affected by package theft last year. As more people shop online during the holidays, Porch Pirates are also more active. However, there are measures you can take to keep your packages safe:
- Install a Door Camera to capture the face of the thief
- Give special instructions to your delivery man to leave it in a safe location.
- Ask your neighbor or friend to check on your package when you’re not there.
Here are more ways you can protect yourself from package theft.
2) Criminal soliciting donations because it’s the Holidays
The holidays are a time of gifts and giving, but there are those who will take advantage of the kindness of our hearts. Be careful of door-to-door donation seekers or people asking to support a questionable cause. It is good to help those during this time of the year; in fact, it is one of the reasons that makes this holiday so special. However, it never hurts to do some background checks before you decide to donate.
3) Christmas Tree Safety
Did you know that 200 home fires started with Christmas trees per year between 2011-2015? Most winter fires come from Christmas decorations alone. It is important to follow these practices before you decide to hang up a tree:
- Make sure you inspect all the strands in your Christmas lights for cracked bulbs or ripped cords.
- Turn off the tree lights if you’re not in the house to enjoy them.
- Always keep your tree hydrated.
4) Backup Travel Plans
Long distance traveling increases during the holidays and so do burglar activities. Here are some way you can keep your home safe if you’ve made travel plans:
- Do not publicize your trips on social media. You never know who is waiting to see if your house is open.
- Install a smart home security camera to record and warn burglars to stay away from your home.
- Ask a neighbor/friend to check up on your house while you are away.
5) Electrical Safety
One of the things that makes Christmas so magical are all the beautiful lights that go up during this season. However, we can get carried away with the lights. Follow these electrical safety practices to stay safe during the holidays:
- Follow the one and done rule. Avoid overloading circuits with plugs. Only place one extension cord per socket.
- Do not plug in outdoor Christmas lights indoors and vice versa
- If you are reusing lights or cords, always inspect for broken bulbs or open wires
6) Cooking Safety
During the holidays, the percentage of kitchen fires increases per day. With turkeys and prime ribs being staple dishes during Christmas, a lot of families have to handle hot oil and greases. Here are some cooking safety tips to keep in mind:
- Heat the oil slowly to the temperature you need to avoid burning the oil
- Keep the lid next to your pot or pan to smother grease fires
- If you have an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. Use baking soda or salt to extinguish fires.