Larry’s Holiday Home Safety Tips
With the Holiday Season now upon us, here are some important tips and reminders for holiday home safety at this time of year.
Fire Safety Doesn’t Take a Break for the Holidays
Some of the things that we love most about Christmas can create fire hazards in your home. While natural trees present the most obvious threat, frayed Christmas light cords, unmonitored candles, overloaded extension cords, and even smoking guests can all pose a fire threat. Remember to:
- Water fresh trees daily
- Check light cords carefully. If they are frayed or damaged, DO NOT USE THEM!
- Practice safe candle use. Keep them away from decorations, curtains, or other easily flammable items. Most importantly, blow them out when you go out!
Check out the Ontario Association of Fire Chief’s “12 Days of Holiday Fire Safety” for a full list of Holiday Fire Safety Tips.
Burglars View the Holidays as a Time of Opportunity
Unfortunately, Santa may not be the only person sneaking into your home this Christmas; break-ins, burglaries, and thefts increase at this time of year. Not only do thieves know that homes are full of valuable new items, but they also count on the distractions of the season making us lax when it comes to home security. Avoid this with the following advice:
- Break up boxes before putting them out for recycling. There’s no need to advertise that you have a fancy new laptop or 4G TV.
- Use a timer on Christmas lights if you’re going to be out for an extended period of time.
- When you’re going away, don’t broadcast the news on social media!
- If expecting a delivery that you won’t be around to receive, do not leave a note on your door saying that you’re not home.
The Vancouver Police Service has an excellent list of tips for holiday safety, including protecting your home from burglaries.
Don’t Forget to Update Your Home Inventory (& Include Your Decorations!)
If you already have a home inventory, make sure that the receipts, details, and serial numbers of any new items your family receives are added to the list. If you don’t have a proper home inventory, then now is the perfect time to get one!
Does your inventory include your Christmas decorations? It is not uncommon for families to have valuable items among their Christmas decorations. Without including them in your home inventory, they could be difficult to replace in the event of a loss.
Your Insurance Company Won’t Accept “But It’s Christmas” in the Event of a Claim
Regular visitors to my blog already know the many horror stories that Canadians have faced when trying to receive fair compensation from their home insurance companies. Even small mistakes or oversights can cause problems if something happens and you need to make a claim. Most insurance policies require that your home be left unattended for no more than 4 consecutive days. If you are going to be away this holiday season, it is critical that you arrange for someone to check-in on your home. Make sure that they check the entire building, including the basement, ensuring that the hot water tank and furnace are okay, and that there are no signs of a wet basement.
Happy Holidays from the HomeGuard Team!
Thank you to all of my readers for an amazing 2016. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Larry Hoover is the President of HomeGuard, Canada’s premier provider of Property Inventory Solutions and Home Insurance Policy Reviews. When reviewing a policy, he always finds something that you need to clarify or change. He helps home owners get more money faster when they need to make a claim. Contact him today at 1-800-799-9040 to HomeGuard Your Home.