It’s finally the holidays! Christmas lights are up, kids are off from school, holiday parties and dinners seem to be happening every weekend. We hope that you enjoy this time of year meant for family and friends, but your Advent family has a few tips to help keep your home safer this winter. Just because you’re on holiday doesn’t mean you should ignore home security and fire safety.
Keep Your Home Feeling Secure
It’s the time of year that many people exchange gifts and give presents. You bought your Advent security system to help keep your family and possessions secure. Here are a few tips to help reduce the likelihood of a home invasion during the holidays.
- Keep delivery and gift boxes out of sight. A home that has a lot of boxes out by the trash cans is a home with a lot of new gifts inside. A huge TV box, toy boxes, and plenty of boxes from Amazon are just a sign pointing to your home. Use a box cutter and cut them up so they fit into your regular recycling or trash receptacles. If you have too many boxes or are unable to fit them into your regular trash cans, take the extra step to bring them to a recycling drop-off location.
- Keep new possessions out of sight. Many new homes have big windows facing the street or entry to allow light into the living room. It’s a good idea to move new gifts, even wrapped presents, away from the visibility of the windows. Leaving the new gifts visible through the windows of your home is another sign pointing to your home as one to burglarize. Keep wrapped gifts hidden until it’s time to open, and then once they’re open, put away your new possessions before leaving your house unattended.
- Keep your house looking active. Most people know the standard tips for going away on vacation during the holidays. Have Christmas lights on a timer, have someone to pick up your mail and shovel if there’s any snow, and keep your Advent alarm set with our monitoring station aware you’re on vacation. However, it’s good to leave your home looking active even if you’re only away for a short period of time! If you’re heading out for a holiday party, leave a couple of lights on before you head out, have those Christmas lights set, and make sure to set your alarm.
Reduce Holiday Fire Hazards
Safety during the holiday season is not just keeping your home secure from a home invasion. There can be an increase in fire risk during the holidays because of candles, decorations, and more. We want to make sure your family stays safe during the holidays, so make sure to keep these fire safety tips in mind.
- When using a fireplace, make sure to use it properly. If you haven’t used your fireplace in a while, make sure it is properly cleaned, chimney included, before use. Having it cleaned and inspected once a year can help reduce chimney fires. Secure the fire with a proper grate to reduce flammable bits from popping out. And finally, never burn wrapping paper or your Christmas tree in the fireplace. The rapid burning and excessive heat can damage the firebox and chimney, creating a big fire risk.
- Be aware of the location of candles and other heat sources to other objects. Many people bring greenery into their homes during the holiday season, increasing fire risk if there are candles, space heaters, and other heat sources in the home. Keep all flammable objects at least three feet away from space heaters and stoves. If you’re using candles during the holiday season, try to only use ones in glass containers or jars, keep them on a secure place that won’t be knocked over (out of the reach of pets and children), and keep flammable objects away. Definitely don’t put candles around the Christmas tree or other greenery in the home! And never leave candles burning unattended.
- Remove your tree BEFORE it becomes a fire hazard. Christmas tree fires are especially dangerous. The sap in the tree plus the dried needles create an incredibly flammable situation. Once the holidays are over, it’s time to remove the tree from your house. Once removed, it’s not safe leaning against your home or garage. Check with your waste removal service to determine what you need to do for proper removal.
- Don’t forget your pets! You and your family might have a fire plan in place, but do you know where your pets will be? When you next check the batteries in your smoke detectors, test the alarm. This is a good opportunity to see where your dog or cat hide from the loud alarm.
A Few Final Thoughts
There’s always the feeling that we can do more to keep our home secure and family safe. This holiday season, take a moment to go over these tips and think about what else you and your family can do to stay safe. Sometimes it can help you remember that “one thing” you forgot to do, and that can make a big difference in the safety of your family.
We at Advent hope you have a safe and joyous holiday season.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!