The holiday season is a time for gathering with family and friends to celebrate in our homes. While we take this time to be with our loved ones, consider these tips this holiday season to minimize risks to reduce homeowners insurance claims.
While relaxing at home, you may want to stay warm by using your fireplace or a space heater. Before lighting the fire, be sure to clean the chimney and have it inspected to ensure it is safe to use. If a space heater or electric blanket is more your style, be sure to keep at least three feet of space around the heater to avoid items catching on fire. Unplug your heaters and electric blankets if you leave the room or are going to bed. Fire is the number one claim during this time of year, so be sure to follow these tips to prevent house fires!
While unraveling lights, check that all bulbs are intact and there are no exposed or frayed wires. Unplug any house or tree lights before leaving the house or going to bed. Your Christmas tree can catch fire quickly, so keep it watered to reduce its flammability risk. Be aware of where you hang decorations. Keep open flames away from potential fire hazards.
If you’re hosting friends and family, follow food handling preparation tips for a safe meal. Avoid the cross-contamination of raw meats with ready-to-eat foods and on eating surfaces. Use a meat thermometer to ensure all meat is cooked to the proper internal temperature. If you have guests with food allergies, be mindful when preparing the food and properly label all dishes to avoid an accident. These food prep steps can save you from a costly liability claim.
Between traveling, gift buying, and crazy family members, it’s no wonder why our stress levels soar this time of year. Take time to relax and prepare for expected increases in traffic and expenses. If you get sick easily, talk to your doctor about ways to improve your immune system, so you can avoid a case of the sniffles this holiday season.
Before you hit the road, make sure your vehicle is road ready. Check your vehicle’s fluid levels, battery, tire pressure and condition, and fill up the gas tank before starting your trip. Do not use your phone while driving. Be sure to have a safety kit in your car in case of inclement weather or an unexpected event. If you are driving to a holiday party where alcohol will be served, plan for a designated driver or get a ride to and from the party.
If you want to hang decorations or lights, use a sturdy ladder and have someone spot the ladder to prevent tipping. We know that the tree topper is going to look amazing, however, you in an arm cast while trying to serve the Christmas ham will not!
With these safety tips in mind, take the time to relax and enjoy this holiday season.
Talk to your Lighthouse agent about your homeowners or dwelling fire policy and any coverage changes.