Holiday Home Safety

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The holidays are just about here! It’s a wonderful time of year, full of cheer; however, it’s important to also be mindful of some safety hazards that come along with the magic of the season.

Whether you’re preparing decadent holiday dinners, decking your halls, or hosting gatherings with loved ones, we’ve put together some helpful tips and reminders to keep you and your home, safe.

  • When preparing and cooking your holiday meals, be sure all cooktops and hot surfaces are clear of any items that could catch fire, and use a heat-resistance surface to cool cookware.
  • Never leave your cooking unattended – it’s important to always keep an eye on your cooking when using hot appliances, and to turn appliances off when not in use.
  • Keep children and pets away from hot surfaces and appliances.
  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure your food is cooked to the proper temperature before serving, and don’t use the same cutting board for raw meat as you do for vegetables or fruit – food poisoning is not very festive!
  • If you’re decorating your home with candles this holiday season, be sure to keep them away from any flammable, including drapes, furniture, and other décor. Battery operated candles are a great alternative to avoid home fires.
  • Be sure not to overcrowd electrical outlets when plugging in your decorations and check your cords for frays or breaks that could start a fire.
  • If buying an artificial tree, look for a fire-resistant option. On the other hand, if getting a real tree, it’s important to water it daily to keep from drying out.
  • Turn off any holiday lights when leaving your home or going to bed.
  • If you have a fireplace or wood-burning stove, be sure your chimney is clean and your fireplace’s damper is open before starting your cozy fires this holiday season.
  • Check your fire detectors regularly and replace any dead or missing batteries.
  • Keep your fireplace area free of decorations, toys, or anything else that could catch flame. A screen guard is also a good idea to help keep children and pets safe around the fire.
  • Never leave your fireplace unattended, and always fully extinguish your fire before leaving home or going to bed at night.
  • If you’re travelling this holiday season, it’s a good idea to double check that you’ve locked all doors and windows before you leave, and make sure no spare keys are “hidden” under a rock or mat.
  • Install lights with timers outside your house – the darker it is, the more appealing to potential burglars who could be snooping around.
  • Consider having a neighbor collect your mail so that others don’t get the impression your home is empty.
  • If travelling by car, check weather conditions and plan your route ahead of departure, and make sure to have an emergency preparedness kit on hand. Here are some items to include in your kit:
    • Jumper cables
    • Flashlight
    • Batteries
    • First aid kit
    • Drinking water
    • Phone charger
    • A blanket and change of clothes
    • Shovel