Holiday Cheer or Holiday Fear?
This time of year, the buzz around many workplaces is all about holiday spirit, parties, gifts and celebrations. Since we are always assessing risks and trying to protect our customers from unexpected holiday-related disasters, conversations tend to be a bit more doom-and-gloom around our office. The talk around the water cooler here at HomeInsurance.com is more about “turkey fryer fires”, “snow damage” and “winter weather disasters”.
The upside to all our insurance claim paranoia? We might actually be able to teach you a few things about protecting your home and family this holiday season. So sprinkle some of these responsible home ownership tips on top of your eggnog this year to keep your holidays fun AND disaster free:
#1- Cooking Fires:
The Fear: Did you know that the leading cause of home fires in the U.S. is cooking fires? Around the holiday season many people spend more time in the kitchen cooking up meals for large groups and baking holiday treats. The increased time in the kitchen makes the instance of cooking fires greater than any other time of the year. The most dangerous piece of cooking equipment? For the past few years is has been nothing other than…dum dum dum… the turkey fryer.
The Cheer: Avoid cooking fires and cooking-related injuries by always playing it safe in the kitchen. Avoid loose clothing and keep flammable materials away from heat sources. While cooking up that seasonal meal, always keep an eye on the stove. Practicing safe cooking will help ensure a happy, stress free holiday.
#2- Harsh Winter Weather
The Fear: Did you know that between 1991 and 2010 winter storms resulted in approximately $26 billion in catastrophic losses?! Whether Jack Frost is nipping at your nose or dragging you by your boot straps- snow, ice and cold weather can do quite a lot of damage to your home.
The Cheer: When you’re up on the ladder this year putting up holiday lights, make sure your roof is in good shape and your gutters are cleared out. Also, take a look around for any low lying tree branches that could be brought down by heavy snow and remove or trim them to keep your home safe and warm this season.
The Fear: Unfortunately, holiday time burglaries have been on the rise over the past few years. If you think about it, christmas presents wrapped up and placed under the tree are an easy target for a burglar who wants to get in and out of your home quickly and with some valuable items. Also at risk is your car. Many thieves are finding brand new purchases in the trunk or back seat of a vehicle as shoppers go from one store to the next.
The Cheer: Show those burglars that you won’t become their next victim by protecting your valuables this season. Don’t put presents on display in your home especially in front of a window. Don’t leave gifts in your vehicle unattended. As you should do all year round, think like a thief in order to prevent burglaries in your home.