The holiday season can be a joyous time of year! Homes are filled with guests, the smell of Christmas trees, scented candles and delicious treats.
The holidays are also peak travel season, leaving many homes empty. Here are four simple tips to keep you and your home safe this holiday season.
1. Shop smart
Tis’ the season for online shopping and for anxious thieves to take advantage of this. Consider having your packages shipped to your office rather than your home. You can also ask the U.S. Postal Service to hold your packages if you expect to be gone during the delivery.
Amazon has a program called Amazon Locker that allows you to have your packages delivered to nearby, participating secure locations. When your package arrives at your chosen destination, you will receive a text or email letting you know it’s ready for pick up.
When shopping at stores, never leave shopping bags full of goodies in plain view in your car. Always lock your doors and windows, park in well-lit areas and have your keys ready as you walk out to your car.
2. Secure your home
Before traveling for the holidays, lock all doors and windows and arm your security system.
Leave on outdoor lights, plus a few lights near visible windows to make it appear as if you are home.
Put a hold on your mail or newspaper delivery or ask a neighbor to pick it up. Bonus tip! Ask your neighbor to park one of their cars in your driveway, so it looks like someone is home.
3. Avoid decorating disasters
When you pick a spot for your Christmas tree, make sure it is away from any heat source such as a heating vent, fireplace or furnace to avoid any chance of a fire.
Inspect your holiday lights for potential frayed wires, broken cords or lights or loose bulb connections. Replace strands with any of these issues. Also, some lights are designated for indoor or outdoor use only, so make sure to check before you decorate!
And remember to always turn off Christmas tree lights before bed, and blow out any lit candles around the house.
4. Be prepared for the unpredictable
The holidays are a great time to make sure you have a working fire extinguisher and smoke detectors in your home. On average, one of every 40 reported home fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in a death, compared to an average of one death per 142 total reported home fires (Source: NFPA). Make sure you have the appropriate tools in easy to access locations just in case something should arise.
And remember the importance of having homeowners insurance. In the event of a robbery or a fire, it will be just the safety net you need to help pick up the pieces.
This article was written and sponsored by CoverHound, where you can compare car insurance rates in as little as 3 minutes.