With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, many people are checking their to-do lists twice and may not be thinking about how to keep their homes safe for their families. To keep your holidays holly and jolly, get started with a few simple steps.
If you like to have the brightest Christmas display known to man like Clark Griswold of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation or you prefer minimal lights, you should always take safety precautions. So when you shop for indoor or outdoor lights, look for a label that indicates that they have been safety tested by an independent laboratory. Whether your lights are new or old, carefully inspect them for frayed wires, cracked or broken sockets or loose connections, and if you don’t know how to repair them, simply discard them. Hang the outdoor lights with United Laboratories-rated clips, rather than staples or nails, which can damage the wiring. To avoid overloading an extension cord, use no more than three standard size sets of lights. Don’t put lights on a metallic tree because it can electrocute a person who touches it, and keep “bubbling” lights out of the reach of children. Remember, lights can short and ignite, causing a fire, so be sure to turn them off when you leave or go to bed.
Candles pose hazards as well and a general rule of thumb is to keep the candle at least one foot away from any item, especially those that can catch on fire, such as a tree or other evergreens, decorations, wrapping paper, etc. Put them in non-flammable holders in places where they cannot be knocked down or blown over.
While You Are Away
Before you get on the road for the holidays, make sure your home is secure. Lock all doors using deadbolts and windows, and don’t forget to lock the door to your attached garage. Sliding glass doors are another point of entry, so if you put a piece of plywood in the track it will help prevent a burglar from opening the door. And, most importantly, use your home security system if you have one. So many people have the alarm systems and just don’t take the time to set them, and then regret it later.
The last thing you want to do is tempt a burglar, of course. Before you leave for the holidays, go out near the street and look at your house to ensure you can’t see any valuable electronics, pieces of art, etc., because these items will not only be visible to your neighbors, but potential intruders. You should also use tips and tricks to make it look like you are home. To do so, leave a few blinds open and ask a neighbor to collect your newspapers and mail as well as keep an eye on your home. You should also use timers to turn on lights, radios and TVs.
As the year ends, I wish you the best during the holidays and success in the coming year. As always, you can reach me at 239.300.1427 or Kris@FindParadiseWithKris.com. I’d be happy to assist you with buying and selling your home.