Top 12 Home Safety Tips for the Holidays
With the holidays fast approaching so begins the planning and prepping! One thing that should also be on your list this year is how to keep your home safe. We’ve put together some easy solutions that will bring you peace of mind and allow you to focus on celebrating the season with those you love.
We use it for everything. On just our smartphones alone, we communicate, shop, learn, and watch sports. This same indispensable convenience now serves as a security portal too.
- Video doorbells and porch security cameras allow you to both answer the door from anywhere and also get alerts (along with a recording) when someone visits your home. Wherever you are, you can see activity around your home’s entire perimeter. Holiday time or not, it’s a good decision to safeguard what’s yours by choosing from a wide variety of home protection solutions, suitable for any budget.
- Smart lighting is one of the best ways to make your home look occupied when it’s not. Holiday travel plans can leave your home vulnerable, but when your curbside lighting turns on at dusk along with select interior lamps and even televisions that you can program to go on and off at different times, it will look like someone is home. (In a less techie solution you can also leave a car in the driveway!)
- Social media presents a slippery slope when it comes to posting your travel pics and even the gifts you’ve received. It is probably wise to refrain from doing either as you never really know who sees your posts or with whom they share them.
No one will likely try to steal away with your new Peloton Tread weighing in at 455 pounds, but it’s good to keep some news about expensive items to yourself.
As far as your travel pics, save posting them until you’re back home and then put the whole virtual album out there with a “There’s no place like home!” caption.
Decking the Halls
All the magical décor is the stuff of year-end festivities, but they do pose a high risk when it comes to safety. Here are some common-sense tips that bear repeating:
- Light Strings. When you take down those holiday boxes, the first thing to do is check that all cords are in good condition. If you are unsure, dispose of them and purchase new. Most lighting is reasonably priced and certainly worth every penny to keep your family and your home free from harm. Also make certain you are not overloading electrical outlets or stringing multiple extension cords together.
And if you haven’t already, this might be a good time to check out smart outlets that you can program to turn off as you wish.
- Open Flames. Even in warmer climates it’s still nice to cozy around the fireplace and lift glasses of cinnamon-dusted eggnog. Candles are always a lovely touch. These flickering nuances, plus a live Christmas tree, plus some boughs of holly can add up to disaster. Best to keep live trees well-watered and of course be ever vigilant about any sources of fire.
Also, because merrymaking can be a bit distracting, go proactive by double checking smoke alarms/fire extinguishers and making sure your chimney is clean. Check out this link for more in-depth details about fire safety from the experts at CNET.
There’s plenty of safety you can exercise here too! Especially when it comes to the children in your life.
- Age-Appropriate Presents. Particularly an issue for the youngest recipients, it’s imperative to heed the age rating on packaged toys. Children are naturally curious and don’t realize what they are doing with certain gifts that pose choking hazards and other risks. If you have any doubt, don’t buy the item, and move on to another.
- Safety Equipment. If the gift is a bike or a skateboard for example, make sure to include all the required gear as part of the gift. Children will want to try out their new bikes or scooters right away, so make sure they have what they need to ride safe.
Your Great Outdoors
Once you’ve got the interior of your home shored up, you’ll want to protect your exterior as well. While there are crimes of opportunity, there’s no doubt that bad guys case a neighborhood to gain the info they need to strike. Here’s an assortment of great ideas that are easy to put into effect.
- Break down the ones that contained big ticket gifts. You can even turn them inside out and tie them with twine for the recycle truck. You don’t want to advertise “what’s inside” your home.
- It’s such a warm feeling when you are welcomed home by those glittering lights. Before installing check for frayed wires and follow this recommendation by Parents Magazine, “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.”
- Porch Pirates. These aptly named crooks have been cleaning up for years. If you plan on ordering a large number of gifts you might consider investing in a package lockbox and have deliveries made there. Or have them sent to your office. Many storage facilities double as Santa’s workshop to temporarily store gifts for kids, but this solution would also work to keep your gifts safe.
Regarding your snail mail, even if you pay your bills and read your newspapers online, it’s still a best practice to have everything held by the post office and/or have your subscriptions suspended. Those stacks of mail are telltale signs that beckon crooks to take advantage of your hospitality…in your absence.
- Even though you’re off enjoying a spectacular Hawaiian island, keep an eye on the precipitation at home. A snow-covered driveway or overgrown lawn is a sure sign you are not home. Arrange in advance for someone to shovel in the event of a storm and keep your lawn company to their regular schedule. You may want your home to be the best looking on the block, but in this instance, you DON’T want to stand out from the rest.
- If you have a trusted one or a good friend who lives locally, ask them to check on the house from time to time. You might even request they set out and bring in your trash cans. Like a sidewalk not shoveled, the absence of your trash containers from the lineup can send up a “calling all bad guys” flare.
At the end of the day, your home is the place where the people you love, live. So, take the time to make all the preparations needed to have the most fun in the most secure environment. We wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season full of wonderful new memories!
In the community management business for over 25 years, Ameri-Tech has earned its outstanding reputation by employing top executives, senior staff property managers, and a host of specialized professionals. Working in association with all manner of contractors to oversee 30,000+ units in the Tampa Bay area, the organization also boasts certifications in emergency management response services. If you are interested in a no obligation presentation to learn about the Ameri-Tech difference or to have your company considered for their Preferred Vendor Program, contact Sharon Perez at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 727-726-8000, extension 246.