The holiday season is a time for celebration and rest, but it’s also a time where accidents and crime rates spike. Yup, unfortunately, it’s true. According to Janet Lauritsen—criminology and criminal justice professor at the University of Missouri—robbery and personal larceny are the two types of crimes that go up during the holidays. Because of this, we thought we would list some of the best tips for keeping your home safe during this busy season. Take a look at these tips to avoid having to deal with cops or with home insurance claims during your holidays. Stay safe this winter, and we wish you Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!
Lock Your Doors
Some of us live in safer neighbourhoods than others, but there’s no excuse for not locking doors – especially during the holiday season. Nicer homes in safer neighbourhoods can still be targeted by criminals, so make sure your doors get locked. This is especially the case when you are not home, but even if you are home- lock your doors!
Do Not Display Holiday Gifts
As nice as holiday gifts look with all that shiny wrapping paper, putting them on display in your window can increase the chances of a robbery. Do your best to avoid the temptation of displaying your holiday gifts in your windows. Instead, opt for simpler decorations that don’t attract as much attention. Or better yet, invest in a security system so robbers know they are not welcome at all!
Keep Some Lights On
If you will be away from home during the holidays, a good tip is to keep some lights on in order to make it seem like someone is home. This will help keep unwelcome guests away. Even just one lit room can make a big difference.
Ensure Snow Is Shoveled
Another sign that a family is away from their home for the holidays is a non-shoveled sidewalk. Not only this, but slippery sidewalks can also become a liability for homeowners if someone slips & hurts themselves on your property. Because of this, it’s important to ensure that any snowfall is shoveled in a timely manner. If you’re not home to do it yourself, hire someone or find a friendly neighbour for help.
Partner-Up With Neighbours
Neighbours can be extremely helpful in certain situations. Not only can they help shovel your snowy sidewalks (like above), they can also help keep an eye on your property. It is always a good idea to befriend and partner up with neighbours to keep each other’s houses (and the neighbourhood) safer.
Sometimes, being a Blockwatch leader can even get you a discount on your Home Insurance!
Don’t Share Travel Plans Online
As tempting as it may be to share your newly booked holiday vacation with all your friends online via social media, you are also telling everyone that you won’t be home for the holidays, so it may be best to avoid this declaration (at least online). Share your excitement privately and with select individuals instead.
Keep Your Holiday Tree Safe
A holiday tree is a popular decoration during this season, but it can also be a dangerous one. Most holiday trees can be highly flammable, so it’s important to keep it away from fires or heat sources in order to avoid any major fire outbreaks. The lights that surround the tree can also become a liability. Read on to learn more about decoration & light safety.
Be Smart About Decorations & Lights
Holiday decorations and lights are a big part of the season, with most wrapping their holiday trees and homes with them. It’s important, however, to inspect all lights and wires in order to find any issues with them before they are set up for the season. Use appropriate lights and cords too. If they are going outside, ensure that they are specifically meant for the cold weather found outdoors. Don’t overload electrical circuits, and you may want to turn the lights off when you go to sleep or leave the home too.
Don’t Play With Fire
Most of us enjoy a nice warm fireplace during the winter season, and the same goes with the ambience that candles provide as well. However, it’s always important to stay safe around fire. Don’t place gifts or decorations too close to a live fireplace or candle. If you have a fireplace, get the chimney checked and cleaned properly. Having a fire extinguisher close-by is always a good idea too.
The Bottom Line on Keeping Your Home Safe During the Holidays
We want you to have fun this holiday season, but we also want you and your home to stay safe. Following the tips mentioned above should decrease the chances of any issues happening around your home during this busy time of the year. Stay safe this holiday season by following the above tips. On behalf of our entire team at Harbord, The Home Insurance People, we wish you a Happy Holiday and a Happy New Year!