The holidays are quickly approaching, and with them comes a time for family, food and festive celebration! ‘Tis the season to be jolly, but unfortunately, it is also the season for home fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving Day has historically been the top day for house fires. The day before Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve follow close behind. Whether you’re traveling to a different state, going down the street, or hosting a big gathering at your home, we hope you have a wonderful and safe holiday season! Take a look at these tips to keep yourself, your family and your home protected in the days ahead.
1. Practice Kitchen Safety
We know that the holidays can be a hectic time, but you will save yourself the hassle of dealing with a fire if you are alert and prepared during the cooking process. Stay in the kitchen if you are cooking food on the stovetop, oven or microwave. When cooking your Thanksgiving turkey or any dish requiring the oven, stay home and check on it periodically. Unattended cooking is the factor that tops the charts in cooking fires statistics, but is easily preventable.
2. Light Your Home With Care
Before lighting your home full of festive colors, take some time to make sure your lights are in proper condition. Check that all of your wiring is intact with no fraying and replace any broken bulbs. Use your lights are directed, not exceeding the recommended number of strings per outlet. As you secure your lights to your home or tree, never staple or nail through electrical wires or extension cords. Doing so could result in an electric shock.
3. Be Smart With Your Christmas Tree
If you are planning to have a real Christmas tree, know that tree fires are not common, but are often more dangerous when they occur. The NFPA reports, “U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 210 home structure fires per year that began with Christmas trees in 2010-2014. These fires caused an annual average of six civilian deaths, 16 civilian injuries, and $16.2 million in direct property damage.” While it may seem obvious, position your tree away from walkways and open flames. It is imperative that you water your tree to prevent it from dying out. When it is dry, throw it away.
4. Turn Off The Sparkle
We all love the look of lights glistening at night, but before you go to sleep or if you leave your house, turn off your lights and electric decorations. If you do plan to travel for an extended period of time, it’s best to unplug anything that could catch fire in your absence. Also, blow out any candles. Using battery-operating candles is a good alternative to an open flame, as candles are responsible for 38% of decoration structure fires. If you are opting for real candles, place them in open areas.
5. Verify Your Insurance Coverage
Make sure your homeowners policy is up to date by call your insurance agency. Protect your belongings and your liability, especially if you are hosting guests. You may also want to consider some additional coverage with an umbrella policy. Your agent will be able to tell you what your homeowners insurance policy covers and if your limits are sufficient.
Enjoy the weeks to come and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns! Happy Holidays from our family at Ample Insurance to yours!