Staying Safe During the Holidays
Dec 05, 2018
It's a beautiful time of the year, but the holidays come with some inherent severe risks that you should prepare for amidst all the gift buying, cooking, and decorating. Here are some of our top holiday safety tips.
Theft and Burglary Prevention
- Do not put empty boxes out on the curb until trash day (e.g. for new TV’s, Blu-ray player, etc.). It will be a shopping list for burglars.
- "Porch pirating" is the unfortunate practice of driving around residential areas scoping for packages to run up and snag, and a study showed that 25.9 million Americans have been victim to this. If you have any packages delivered to your home, it may be wise to require a signature so it's not sitting vulnerably at your front door. Alternatively, you can have packages sent to a local carrier for pick-up or to your place of work if your employer allows it.
- If you are away from home during the holidays, ask someone to make tire tracks in your driveway, shovel the walkway, and check your mail and newspapers.
- Give the appearance that someone is home by setting your lights up with timers or z-wave devices that can connect to your home security system and set times for lights in the house to turn on and off. We will set you up with the alarm.com app, which you can use to set schedules for lighting controls, allow the animal keeper in, keep heat at a stable level, and check on your pets through your wireless cameras.
- Be careful what you post on social media. Do not announce on Facebook or Twitter that you are leaving your home unattended.
- Make sure to keep your vehicles and house locked up. Nearly one third of all burglars enter through an unlocked door or window.
- Check electrical holiday decorations for wear and tear. Check all extension cords for frays and do not overload circuits. Do not overload electrical outlets. Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in 43% of home Christmas tree fires.
- Keep your tree watered daily! Dry Christmas trees are a significantly dangerous fire hazard and can become completely engulfed in flames in just a few seconds after being ignited. Additionally, keep it away from open outlets, plugs, or switches. On average, one of every 45 reported home fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in a death, compared to an average of one death per 139 total reported home fires.
- Don't leave your kitchen when cooking. Unattended cooking equipment is the leading cause of home cooking fires.
- Be mindful of where you place candles and don't leave them unattended as unattended candles are the cause of one in five home candle fires. Home candle fires are at their highest in December, and the top three days for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s Day and New Year's Eve. Consider using battery powered candles that mimic the real thing and come in a variety of colors, sizes, and scents.
- Check all batteries in smoke detectors and do a family fire drill. Also make sure you have smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms on every level of your home – especially near sleeping areas.
Keep the Season Joyful
It's easy to get caught up in the festivities and excitement, but don't let that distract you from protecting yourself and your family! Review your family emergency procedures, and make sure you know your stress code and duress code for your security system. Taking these all these necessary precautions will ensure your holidays don't turn into a disaster.
The Best Safety Measure You Can Take
Keep in mind that security systems are a significant deterrent for potential burglars, and they can also be the life-saving factor in the unfortunate event of a home fire. Our team is happy to help if you have any questions about setting up a system in your home. Give us a call today at 888-412-5356.