Home Safety Tips for the Holidays
Stay Safe as You Celebrate
The holidays are stressful enough as families plan meals, buy gifts, and travel. The last thing you need is a home maintenance problem to sidetrack your expenses and planning. Unfortunately, winter weather brings its own set of risks to the table as the temperatures drop and snow falls. Our team at HomeHunt created a list of home safety tips so you can spend less time worrying, and more time with your family.
Electrical risks are a common concern for homeowners during the holiday season. Christmas lights are festive and add character to your home, but they can also be dangerous if not hung up properly. Always be sure to check that your outdoor string lights are weatherproof. Also, check for broken bulbs that could lead to shocks, fires, or lacerations. If you are using an extension cord, be sure that the cord is weatherproof as well.
For indoor lights, such as those found on Christmas trees, be careful not to overload the outlet. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), decorative lights contribute to an average of 160 house fires per year. Additionally, Christmas trees alone account for 230 house fires a year. For extra home safety, keep wires out of reach from children and pets.
Candle Fire Safety
- Blowing out candles before you leave home or go to sleep.
- Using sturdy and balanced candle holders.
- Placing candles on level surfaces.
- Having a 12-inch clearance on each side of the candle flame.
Whether or not you prefer snow, winter weather can lead to property damage and/or personal injury if you’re not prepared. To prepare for the cold, stock up on salt and shovels. Sprinkle salt on your driveway and any outdoor walkways to prevent slip-and-fall injuries. Also, shovel snow off the driveway to ensure your car doesn’t lose traction.
Many people don’t expect water damage during the winter, but even a tiny amount of water in your walls will expand and cause unsightly water spots when frozen. To avoid this, regularly check for cracks and clean out the gutters before the cold snap. If you live in an area with heavy snowfall, hire a professional to shovel your roof to prevent a collapse. Additionally, trim low-hanging branches that could break off and cause property damage and power outages.
Finally, always wrap your high-risk water pipes with UL-listed heat tape so they don’t freeze. If you plan on escaping the cold and leaving town for a while, consider shutting off your water and draining the pipes.
Unfortunately, even if you fully prepare for winter weather risks, life is unpredictable, so it’s important to have homeowners insurance. No policy is a “catch-all,” so it may be necessary to have multiple policies. For example, most standard homeowner policies do not include flooding insurance, so if you live close to the water, or have problems with flooding, be sure to obtain extra coverage. Also, be aware that flooding can occur during the winter if there is a rapid fluctuation in temperatures.
The team at HomeHunt wishes everyone a happy holiday and is here for all of your home safety and home hunting needs. Contact us today to be matched with the right agent to help you find the best insurance policy for your home!