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The Annette Vance Team

The Annette Vance Team - Broker

The Annette Vance Team - Broker
Director's Platinum Award Sales Achievement Award Master Sales Award Royal LePage - 100 Years

 

Holiday Home Safety

December 14, 2016 - Updated: December 14, 2016

The holiday season is a time for fun and festivities. Unfortunately, it’s also a time when many homes become fire hazards and are burglarized. Factors include faulty or misused Christmas lights, unattended stoves, Christmas presents, and a high stress time of year. 

 

As you're sprucing up your home this season, keep an eye out for these common holiday trip-ups, fire hazards, and other safety snafus.

 

1. Merry and Bright: Carefully inspect holiday light strings each year and discard any with frayed cords, cracked lamp holders, or loose connections. When replacing bulbs, unplug the light string and be sure to match voltage and wattage to the original bulb.

2. Lights Out: Always turn off holiday lights when you leave the house unattended or when going to bed.

3. Fresh Is Best: Try to purchase a freshly cut tree, as they are more resistant to ignition. Keep your Christmas tree watered and away from open candles.

4. Timing Is Everything: Use an outdoor timer certified by CSA International to switch lights on and off. Lights should be turned on after 7 p.m. to avoid the electricity rush hour.

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5. Check for the Certification Mark: When purchasing light strings, extension cords, spotlights, electrical decorations, gas appliances, or carbon monoxide alarms, look for the certification mark of an accredited certification organization such as CSA International, UL, or ELT to ensure that the products comply with applicable standards for safety and performance.

6. One and Done: Never connect more than one extension cord together; instead use a single cord that is long enough to reach the outlet without stretching, but not so long that it can get easily tangled.

7. The Great Outdoors: When hanging outdoor lights, keep electrical connectors off the ground and away from metal rain gutters. Use insulated tape or plastic clips instead of metal nails or tacks to hold them in place.

8. Climbing Up: Using a ladder when you put up lights? Choose the correct ladder for the job and double check for a certification mark to ensure your portable ladder complies with applicable standards.

9. Keep the Gas Behind Glass: Do not use your gas fireplace if the glass panel is removed, cracked, or broken, and only allow a qualified service person to replace fireplace parts.

10. Sound the Alarm: Test your smoke alarms monthly to make sure they work, and be sure to install smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms on every level of your home -- especially near sleeping areas.

11. Filter-Friendly Furnace: To help prevent CO hazards in your home, have a qualified heating contractor perform a yearly maintenance check of your furnace and venting system, and clean or replace your furnace filter frequently during the heating seasons.

12. Clean the Clutter: Do not store combustible materials such as gasoline, propane, paper, chemicals, paint, rags, and cleaning products near your gas furnace. Gasoline or propane cylinders should be stored outside the home.

13. Be discreet when disposing of packages: One of the easiest ways for thieves to tell if there’s a wealth of valuables is from leftover packing in your trash or recycling sitting on the curb. Be sure to break the packaging down and conceal it as much as possible. You may also want to wait to dispose of packing until the day trash/recycling is collected so it doesn’t linger around and give would-be burglars any incentive.

14. Minimize visibility from the street: Another mistake homeowners make is leaving a mound of expensive gifts underneath the Christmas tree right in front of a window. If these items are visible from the street, potential burglars don’t have to make much effort to case your home. To prevent this problem, you should keep your curtains or blinds closed at night or position your Christmas tree so it’s not easily seen from the street. You may also simply want to wait until Christmas Eve before you place presents under the tree.

15. Be careful with social media posting: If you’re going to be out of town for the holidays, you should use caution with how much information you divulge on your social media accounts. For example, posting something like “greetings to everyone back home, we’ll be back next week” makes it all too easy for criminals to gain the edge. They’ll know for a fact you’re not home, which can make your home a prime target for a break-in.

16. Take pictures and record serial numbers: For any high price gifts, it’s a good idea to take note of as much information as possible. This is relatively easy to do and starts with taking a picture and saving it on your mobile device, computer or on Cloud software. You should also write down all serial numbers if items need to be traced. In the worst-case scenario, this will make it easier for police to obtain a confession and recover stolen items.

 

Keeping this tips in mind - we here at the Annette Vance Team hope you all enjoy a safe, fun, and happy Holiday season!

 

-Annette Vance

 

Credit to http://www.parents.com/holiday/christmas/safety/12-tips-for-holiday-home-safety/ and http://www.safewise.com/blog/security-holidays-keeping-home-safe-christmas-burglars/ for the great holiday safety tips. 

12. Clean the Clutter: Do not store combustible materials such as gasoline, propane, paper, chemicals, paint, rags, and cleaning products near your gas furnace. Gasoline or propane cylinders should be stored outside the home.


Tagged with: christmas holiday home safety stay safe during the holidays merry christmas happy holidays
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