Keeping your home safe for the holiday season
The holiday season is fast approaching, making it a good time to review home safety and security tips that protect your family and your property – year-round.
This one may be obvious, but it’s understandably easy to forgo when you feel safe in your community – lock up any time you leave your home, even if only for a brief errand. With knock-knock burglaries on the rise, it’s important to be extra safe by keeping your doors locked whenever they are not in use, even if you’re home. At night, be certain to secure doors (doggy doors too!), and windows. If you have a home security system, don’t forget to set it before leaving the home and once the family is in for the night.
With all the cooking and decorating during the holiday season, it’s a good idea to test your smoke and carbon dioxide meters. Ideally, this should be done twice a year. The best way to remember and the best time to change your batteries is during the Standard Time “fall back” and Daylight Savings Time “spring forward” time changes.
Before baking all those holiday goodies, give your oven a good cleaning. Don’t forget to set timers so your food doesn’t burn and cause an oven fire. Also, keep a fire extinguisher (and check the expiration date) or fire blanket close by, and refresh your knowledge on how to operate them if needed. With that, don’t throw water on a grease fire and if a fire is too big to put out quickly, get everyone out of the home and call 9-1-1 from outside – fire spreads quickly and the smoke fumes can be deadly.
While deep-frying turkeys are popular, and delicious, they are also a serious fire hazard – use extra caution and follow all safety standards. Never use your deep fryer under any kind of roof: back porch, indoors, in the garage, or in a shed. Keep the deep fryer level and away from children. Before moving the fryer or disposing of the oil, cool the oil completely.
When preparing your home for the holidays, consider having your fireplace or woodstove, and chimney flue, professionally cleaned. Keep an eye on candles, remembering to extinguish them before you leave the room. If you have a live Christmas tree or décor, ensure you follow all safety standards. Watch for potential fire hazards like hot lights, too many “daisy-chained” light strings, and damaged light strings. Don’t overload outlets due to potential fire hazard.
Tracking deliveries and bringing them inside quickly can help ensure nothing is taken from your porch. If and when available, state a specific, more secure location where you want packages to be left. Another option are Amazon Lockers or having the post office hold packages for pickup. When disposing of all of the packaging, break down the boxes so they are less noticeable in your trash/recycle bin so criminals don’t know what kind of new purchases are in your home.
In the coming weeks, we will be detailing more tips for holiday shopping and holiday travel.
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