The holidays are generally an enjoyable time for most people. However, just because they are fun doesn’t mean that there aren’t opportunities for risks. However, there are some risks that are more prominent than others, and you should be aware of all of them so your holidays can be enjoyable.
The thought of burglaries during the holidays probably conjure up images of movies like ‘Home Alone’, but there are easier ways to deter potential burglars. Installing light timers in your home is one such way. You can set the timers to mimic the appearance of you being home by having the lights turn on and off randomly in different rooms of the house. If you are planning on being out of town for a substantial amount of time, ask one of your neighbors if they can take care of any newspapers or packages that are delivered while you are gone. A buildup of mail and packages outside your home is a giveaway that you aren’t there. Keep your landlord in the loop as well. If you are going to be out of the unit, then they can help keep an eye on the property in your absence.
Hiding evidence of possible expensive objects in your home is also a good idea. Keeping your Christmas tree and gifts out of sight is a good plan of action. That way, it doesn’t present such a tempting target to burglars. After the holidays, hiding evidence of expensive objects in your home is also a good idea. When you go to throw the trash out, be sure to conceal any boxes to large, expensive gifts such as computers, TVs, game consoles, etc.
Frozen pipes can be a massive issue and not one that you want to deal with during your holiday celebrations. Keeping your unit warm is an important step to keeping your pipes flowing, especially if you are out of town. A good temperature to keep your home at is anywhere between 50 and 70 degrees. If a sink is on an outside wall, open the under-sink cabinets to help keep the pipes warm. No one wants to come home to a flooded home.
If you have a pet and are headed out of town for the holidays, hiring a pet sitter can be incredibly beneficial. If your pet is bored or stressed without you, they can cause a lot of damage to the home. If they end up destroying the interior of your unit, then you have also basically forfeited your security deposit. Hiring a pet sitter is also beneficial because that is someone who can keep an eye on your home for you, collect mail and packages, and make sure nothing has gone awry.
As the holidays approach, decorations begin to pop up. While decorations look great, there are certain safety hazards involved that can slip past your attention. Be sure to double-check your lease to see if there are any types of decorations that your landlord doesn’t allow or if there is a specific open flame policy. Here are some general tips that are important to keep in mind.
- Replace any decorations with worn or frayed cords. Also, be sure to turn off any electric decorations while you are away from the home or sleeping.
- Never leave candles unattended and extinguish them before you sleep. Battery-operated candles can be a good alternative with a lot less chance to start a fire.
- While installing any decorations in a high place, use a proper ladder and be sure that it is steady on the ground.
Test your smoke alarms throughout the house to ensure that they are working properly.
During the holidays, there are over a hundred decoration-related injuries each day. About half of these incidents involve falling. Fires are also an issue during the holidays. These can come from candles or dry Christmas trees.
The kitchen can be home to a wide array of risks that you need to look out for. As you cook Thanksgiving or Christmas or New Year’s dinners and bake treats, there are some safety precautions that can help to ensure nothing goes catastrophically wrong.
- Avoid cooking while under the influence of alcohol or marijuana, as this can impair your judgment and make you more likely to hurt yourself.
- Don’t leave your kitchen unattended, especially if you have a gas stove.
- Keep any children that are present away from the hot stove and/or oven. Any cords that are connected to electrical appliances should also be kept out of their reach.
- Be sure to check on your turkey or ham frequently and do not leave your house while it is cooking. This is particularly true with turkey fryers, which have become rather infamous for injuring people.
- Keep your kitchen clean, especially your stovetop and floor. Your stovetop should be kept free from cooking utensils and flammable objects, such as oven mitts. Any spills should be cleaned up immediately to prevent slipping or tripping.
Cooking fires are the number one cause of residential fires in the United States. On Thanksgiving Day, three times the normal average of cooking fires occur, resulting in approximately 1,700 fires.
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