It’s December already and the holidays will be here in no time at all.
Inevitably there are extra items and events on all our schedules and it sometimes seems like there’s not a spare moment.
It’s therefore more likely that, with so much to think about and do, safety and security around the home can take a back seat.
With this in mind, here are some tips to help to make it a season to remember for all the right reasons:
Going Away? – It’s not a great idea to advertise that you’ll be going away for holidays via social networking channels. This effectively tells the entire world that your home may be an ideal choice for an opportunist thief. If you want people to share in your experiences, why not wait until you are back at home, then post your photos, videos and memories. Perhaps not as exciting, but definitely more secure.
Other sensible measures include using light switch timers to create the impression of home occupancy, especially at night. It’s also a great idea to ask a neighbor to collect any newspapers and flyers that may accumulate on your front drive.
And even if you’re staying at home, don’t stack presents near windows without curtains or blinds drawn. They can be very tempting to less honorable members of society.
Address Electrical Fire Risks – December is statistically the worst month of the year for electrical fires. Holiday lights can contribute to these figures because they are quickly stored after the holidays, so any faults get forgotten, causing possible issues if they aren’t thoroughly inspected and maintained before you hang them up again. It’s never good practice to leave lights on overnight, so switch them off before you retire, or use a timed switching device.
Take Care In The Kitchen – With food being such a big focus for most of us at this time of the year, things can get very hectic in the kitchen. It’s important, therefore, to maintain your guard as to the many risks around food preparation, including thawing meats in a refrigerator and not storing them at room temperature for unsuitably long periods. Hot foods and liquids present a big safety hazard to children and pets, so make sure they aren’t positioned on the edges of countertops and tables etc. Why not go a stage further and keep kids and animals out of the kitchen as much as possible during the busiest times.
Maintain Your Lead – It’s also the busiest time of year for your electrical outlets, as they are called upon for all sorts of extra functions in the coming weeks. Don’t attempt to string together extension cords so that they reach outlets that are still available. Buy cords of adequate length and inputs to enable you to create a single connection. Also make sure you aren’t loading them beyond their stated safe power handling capacity.
Gift Wrap Can Be A Hazard – It’s fun and festive and looks so harmless, and yet gift wrap has the potential to ruin the holiday. The key advice is to collect it as presents are opened and dispose of it straight after. This prevents it from adding fuel to some kind of flash fire and being a choking hazard for young children and pets. Tinsel, for example, can be fatal to cats and dogs if swallowed.
Toying with Safety Is a No, No – Toys are of course subject to a lot of safety legislation. In all the rush leading up to the big day, however, it’s very easy to not read safety instructions before you wrap them, and then have no little or time on the day after kids have opened them. Therefore it’s great advice to read these guidelines before you wrap and make note to address any potential hazards associated with the use of certain items.
Stay Clean – Late night entertaining can go on into the wee small hours and it’s so tempting to just clean up the following morning. However if there are kids in the house, they are very likely to be up and about before anyone else at this time of the year, so ensure things like half empty alcoholic drink glasses are dealt with before you retire.
We hope you find at least some of these tips of use as you make your holiday plans. As ever if you have any queries related to real estate don’t hesitate to contact us at the Hyland/Schneider Team at 928-445-2100.