The holiday season has arrived! Here are thirteen home and personal safety tips to keep you, your family, and your property and workplace safe:
- Turn Off - Always turn holiday lights off if you leave the house or go to bed. Lights can short out and cause a fire. If you have decorations at work, make sure those are turned off after hours.
- Burn Outs - Check your light strands for cracked lights or frayed cords. Unplug light strands when replacing bulbs and make sure to match the voltage of the original bulb.
- Going Away – Don’t invite trouble to your home if you're out of town for the holidays. Have a neighbor collect your mail and newspaper. Leave a light on inside your home. Never post travel plans on social media sites or discuss your travel plans with strangers.
- Up, Up and Away – If you have small children or pets, place ornaments higher up than they can reach. The hooks attached to ornaments are detachable and pose a choking risk.
- That’s Fowl – Never leave food out on the counter for more than two hours. Seal containers before putting them in the fridge and allow enough space for air to circulate.
- Shining Bright – The sparkling of the Christmas tree tinsel is intriguing for smaller children, but it can be very dangerous if swallowed. Place tinsel higher up and out of reach of your little ones.
- Pet Police – Plates of food pose a huge temptation for our furry friends, and baker's chocolate, holly berries and mistletoe are toxic to pets if ingested. Keep the trash covered and your plates out of reach.
- On Guard – Daylight hours are the best time to shop. If you go shopping at night, park near a light post or in a well-lit area. Better yet, stay with a group. Also, have your keys in your hand as you approach your car. Be aware of your surroundings and do not approach your car alone if you see anyone loitering nearby.
- Out of Sight - Keep packages and wrapped presents out of sight while shopping. Instead of leaving them locked in your car, place them in your trunk, reducing the temptation for would-be thieves.
- In a Flash – Burning used wrapping paper may cause intense flash fires. Consider recycling it instead.
- Twinkle, Twinkle – When connecting lights, only string three cords together at a time. Never place them under a rug or hang them using nails.
- Playing With Fire – The number of fires started by children playing with matches or lighters goes up significantly during the holidays. Make sure lighters are child proof and matches are out of reach.
- Up in Smoke – Natural Christmas trees are beautiful, but there is a greater risk of fire associated with fresh cut trees. Keep them well watered and never place them next to a space heater, fireplace or heating vent.
Play it safe and smart this festive season. Reduce your risk factor — and your chance of filing an insurance claim — by following these helpful tips.
Happy Holidays from Schwartz Insurance Group!