The holidays are fast approaching, and with them the fun and excitement of getting together with family, traveling, exchanging gifts, and enjoying special holiday traditions. Unfortunately, the holiday season can also be one of increased risks, whether of fire, theft, or accident. Here are some holiday safety reminders from your friends at Lakewood Financial:
Live trees are beautiful, but they can also be fire hazards. Water your tree regularly so it doesn’t dry out, and keep open flames away from it. Also be sure to check Christmas lights for frayed or exposed wires that could spark and start a fire.
Keep fragile, breakable ornaments securely fastened at the top of the tree and out of reach of children and pets.
If you decorate with candles, snuff them out before you go to bed or leave the house (and turn off flameless candles, too). Don’t leave them burning unattended where children or pets could burn themselves or knock them over.
Be cautious when decorating up high—use a ladder, not a chair or other piece of furniture. You’ll be less likely to fall.
Don’t give thieves the gift of easy access to your holiday purchases. Help avoid a car break-in by keeping purchases locked in your trunk or where no one can see them. Lock car doors, keep windows rolled up, and park in a well-lighted area.
Be alert when shopping in a crowd. Don’t carry a lot of cash, keep your purse close to your body, or carry your wallet in a front pocket.
If no one is home and you’re expecting delivery of holiday packages, keep them safe from “porch pirates” by seeing if you can have packages delivered to you at work, or by arranging for the post office to hold them.
After the holidays, don’t advertise the new gifts in your home. Dispose of boxes and other packaging discreetly.
(And remember to add your expensive gifts to your home inventory!)
If you plan to travel, don’t announce your plans beforehand on social media. Stop your mail and newspaper, and set up lights on timers so your home looks occupied. Ask a neighbor to keep an eye on things.
Holiday traffic can be busier than usual, and drivers may also be more distracted. Be extra careful, and remind your teen driver to do the same. Remember to buckle seat belts, put aside cell phones, and pay full attention to the road.
If you plan to drink alcohol at a holiday party, designate a driver beforehand, or use a taxi or car service to bring you safely home.
Remember your pets
Holidays can be stressful for pets. Provide a safe, quiet place for them to retreat if the holiday festivities become too much for them. Also avoid bringing toxic plants such as mistletoe, holly, lilies, or amaryllis into your home. Don’t give them “people food,” and make sure any holiday chocolate is kept out of reach—chocolate is toxic to cats and dogs.
With a little thought and preparation, you can avoid potential holiday mishaps. We hope you have a very happy—and safe—holiday season!
And remember, we are here to help with any of your insurance needs. Just give us a call at 941-747-4600.