Home Safety during the Holidays

The holidays can be a crazy, stressful time. For many homeowners, it is a time full of decorating, cooking, cleaning and visiting. In all of the hustle and bustle, it can be easy to overlook basic home safety precautions. The following are a few simple things to double-check. Doing so can prevent disasters from occurring in your home this holiday season.

One of the biggest things to keep an eye out for is fire hazards. With all of the cooking (especially with a gas stove), sitting in front of the fireplaces, and hanging of holiday lights, fires top the list of common holiday disasters.

When juggling holiday meal preparations with hosting friends and family, do not leave items on the stove unattended. It takes only a few minutes for a fire to spark and if left unnoticed, could result in major damage. Also, cook with extra precaution. During the year, you may only be used to using the oven and one or two burners, but to accommodate your many guests, you may have to use more. Make sure you’re familiarized with all of your appliances, and don’t forget to keep counter space tidy as you cook to avoid any accidents.

When putting up your tree, whether real or fake, don’t put it too close to the fireplace. Although it seems simple enough, many people underestimate the distance needed between the fireplace and the tree to ensure safety. Just being aware of this fire hazard can help prevent a disaster from taking place. Additionally, make sure that items placed around the fireplace such as stockings, garlands or tinsel are not too close, and put up a fire grate while the fireplace is lit to minimize the amount of sparks from flying out onto decorations.

When putting up lights, check the wires to ensure they have not frayed or been chewed during the year in storage. Also, don’t plug too many things into one outlet or connect more than one extension cord together! If you need an extension cord, use one that is long enough to reach. The few extra dollars spent on an extended extension cord now could save you hundreds, even thousands if a fire were to start. When hanging outdoor lights, you’ll want to first clear all leaves and debris that may have fallen into the gutters throughout the year, and do not connect any lights to metal gutters unless you are using plastic anchors.

And last of all, test your fire alarm to make sure that it’s working properly. Although this is a tip that we encourage homeowners do on a regular basis, there is no better time than the holidays to double check. For more tips on home safety, contact American Tri-Star Insurance today or check out our affordable San Diego home insurance plans and give yourself the gift of savings this holiday season!