Keeping your Home Safe During the Holidays
The holiday season is the perfect time to deck your home with holiday decor, but with the joy that this decor brings also comes hazards. The traditions that come with the holidays and the dropping temperatures can lead to fire hazards, vandalism, and even burglaries if you are not prepared. By taking the steps to decorate safely, secure your property, and winterize, you can avoid all of the hidden holiday hazards that lead to millions of dollars in damage and serious injuries each and every year. Here are valuable tips so that you can stay joyful and safe at the same time.
Holiday Lighting Safety
Indoor and outdoor Christmas lights are designed to shut off when they are at risk of overheating, but you should be cautious when you use any type of string lighting for extended periods of time. When using lighting outdoors, make sure that the application is rated for outdoor use. Also, plug the lighting directly into an outlet and avoid ever using an extension cord because this can overload the cord and cause a fire hazard.
Inspect any old light strings for possible loose connections and frays before using your lights. If you must replace any bulbs in your strings, be sure to use to same voltage and wattage as the original bulb or you could be overloading the string. Any lights that you use should have a certification mark showing that they meet the standards of accreditation organizations. When dressing a Christmas tree with lights, fresh is best because it is naturally resistant to ignition. Aged and dry trees are more susceptible to fire. It is best for anyone using Christmas lights to turn off the lights whenever leaving the property of turning in for the night.
Heater Safety During the Holidays
When homeowners rely on heating systems or units to keep their interior space warm, the number of fires in residential homes go up. You must be sure to take the fire precautions so that a comfortable evening in the home does not wind up costing thousands of dollars in damage and an expensive home insurance California claim. If you are using a gas fireplace, only operate it if the glass panel is intact and closed. If you are using a portable heater or baseboard heater, be sure no flammable applications are within 3 feet of the unit. Have your furnace checked annually and filters replaced before winter for efficiency and safety. All of these practices can prevent house fires.
Understand Your Home Insurance Policy
An average of 67,500 home insurance claims are filed every holiday season due to accident that occur in winter. While a majority of these claims are fire claims, many are due to theft and vandalism because many homes are stockpiled with expensive gifts. Homeowners insurance pays for fire damage and stolen or destroyed personal property up to the limits on the policy, but the claim is subject to a deductible. Be sure you update your home insurance California limit each year before the season comes so that your policy is up to date and your loss will fully be covered.
Disclaimer: This is for information purposes only and NOT a recommendation from Mills Insurance. Please contact a licensed insurance agent specialist to discuss insurance coverage’s and laws.
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