The holiday season is upon us, and that means family gatherings, holiday decorations, feasts, and just enjoying the magic of the season.
While this time of year brings plenty of joy, it also brings some unique safety risks—and nothing puts a damper on holiday festivities quite like an accident around the home.
We’ve put together these top 8 holiday safety tips to help you keep your home and family safe during the most wonderful time of the year.
1. Fire-proof your Christmas tree and decorations
Holiday decorations are a fun way to get into the holiday spirit, but they can also be a source of house fires. This is especially true for live Christmas trees, which are one of the biggest fire hazards in the winter. Live trees are particularly flammable, especially when they become dry. You can help prevent Christmas tree fires by:
Placing trees at least three feet from heating sources, including radiators, candles, and fireplaces.
Use a fire-resistant artificial tree instead of a live tree.
Electrical issues (including Christmas tree lights), which are the number one cause of home fires.
Heating, including space heaters, which are responsible for 44% of all heating-related fires.
Candle fires, which peak in December and January and occur most often on Christmas Day.
A sufficient number of working smoke alarms in the house is the best ways to protect your home and family from house fires. In the majority of home fire deaths, there were non-working or no smoke alarms present in the home. Test your smoke alarm, change the batteries if needed, and replace any that are ten years old or older.
3. Don’t forget about carbon monoxide
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a deadly gas produced by fumes from fuel sources such as gasoline, wood, and charcoal. These fuels are used in devices such as cars, lanterns, fireplaces, grills, and wood-burning stoves, to name a few, which in turn produce CO.
CO poisoning is responsible for over 400 deaths and 20,000 emergency room visits every year. Winter is the most common time for CO poisoning, as people are more likely to use heat sources that burn these fuels.
CO is particularly dangerous because the fumes are odorless and tasteless. Fortunately, it’s also completely preventable and can be detected by carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure you have working carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home.
4. Protect your packages
It’s not just the Grinch that steals Christmas gifts—package theft is a problem year-round, but increases during the holidays when more people shop online. Shipping volume increases by up to 40% during the holiday season, providing more opportunities for package theft.
One of the best ways to protect your packages is by installing security or doorbell cameras. Vivint’s Doorbell Camera Pro helps to proactively prevent package theft by automatically detecting deliveries and lurkers. When a thief is detected, the camera activates a bright LED light and plays a loud tone, letting the thief know they’ve been spotted and sending them running for cover.
(Fun fact: the Doorbell Camera Pro can also catch fun moments, like these holiday carolers!)
5. Practice electrical safety
Electrical fires are one of the leading causes of house fires in the US, and faulty wiring for lighting is responsible for most electrical fire damage. The holidays are especially prone to electrical fires, when more people string lights inside and out to decorate.
Follow these electrical tips to keep you safe during the holidays:
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when stringing indoor and outdoor lights together to avoid overloading circuits.
Use LED holiday lights, which use less energy and allow you to string more lights together. They also don’t get as hot as incandescent lights.
Plug your tree lights into the Vivint Smart Plug, so you can turn them on and off wherever you are with the Vivint App.
Don’t overload electrical outlets with too many extension cords, lights, or devices.
Check for loose connections, which can spark and cause shocks and fires. If the outlet moves or has a loose hold on the plug, contact an electrician.
The number of robberies increases in December for a number of reasons. Holiday travel leaves homes unoccupied, and burglars know there will be holiday gifts under the tree. This makes the holiday season even more attractive for theft.
One of the best ways to protect your home from burglaries is to simply lock your front door. In 30% of burglaries, the thief enters the home through an unlocked front door. A smart lock can make this easier than ever. Not only can you set it to automatically lock after a certain amount of time, but you can also lock and unlock it right from your phone.
Inside, you can also protect your valuables by keeping them in a lockbox. This is especially important if you’re traveling.
7. Stay safe in the kitchen
What’s the number one cause of home fires and injuries? Cooking! But it’s not just the risk of fires that can put people at risk. From Christmas feasts to cookie exchanges to holiday parties, food is an integral part of most holiday celebrations.
These tips will help keep you stay safe in the kitchen:
Never leave cooking unattended.
Keep small children away from the stovetop and oven.
Practice food safety, ensuring food is always cooked to the proper internal temperature and stored correctly.
If using a fryer, follow the manufacturer instructions carefully.
You should also keep a portable fire extinguisher within reach when cooking.
8. Use cameras to keep an eye on things at home
Whether you’re traveling out of town or just attending holiday parties, you can keep an eye on things around the house with security cameras.
Indoor cameras let you check in on kids and pets while you’re away. The Vivint Indoor Camera also features one-touch callout, so your family members can easily reach you and speak to you right from the camera with the touch of a button.
A safe and happy holiday is possible
With a little awareness and putting these simple safety tips in place, you can have a safe and happy holiday season. To learn more about how Vivint smart home devices can help keep you and your family safe, give us a call 855.822.1220 today.
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