By Tom Klonowski
Let’s keep everyone safe this holiday season!
The holidays are a time for family and friends to be together and celebrate, but they are also the time of year we see far too many insurance claims come across our desk here at Power Risk Management. From kitchen and full up house fires, to slips and falls due to icy walkways and stairs to home and auto break ins – tis the season! Below are some helpful tips to keep you, your family and if you are a business owner – your customers, safe this holiday season.
Here’s how to keep your holidays filled with happiness and cheer:
At Home or in the Office – Avoid Fires
Every year, a couple hundred homes will burn down during the holiday season – 2 out of 5 of those are because decorations are placed too close to a heat source according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Candles: More than a third of holiday house fires are caused by candles. People light them and forget about them. Candles although lovely to look at are incredibly dangerous. Never put candles where children or pets can knock them over and always put a reminder alarm on your phone when you light a candle, to extinguish it.
Christmas Trees: Keep them watered – and make sure the tree is actually “drinking the water”. Dried out evergreen trees will easily catch fire and be engulfed in seconds. Keep them away from radiators or heat sources as this will simply dry the tree out quicker and never have a tree near a fireplace or lighted candles. Watch this video to see how quickly a tree burns: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xr6b9b8FYKk
Lights: Holiday lights use electricity – and worn electric wires are dangerous and can cause fires. The rule of thumb is if there is a break, tear or wear in your holiday Christmas light strands – toss them out.
Mantles: Everyone loves lavishly decorated mantles – but 99% of the items on there are probably very flammable. If you light candles or have a fire in the fireplace – remove the items from the mantle – especially if you aren’t going to be in the room!
Keep guests, family & clients safe!
Slip & Falls – To avoid a hefty liability claim on your insurance and more importantly to avoid a friend, family member, delivery people or customer hurting themselves – please make sure you always keep walkways and stairs free of snow and ice. Keep salt and sand handy and use it often!
Shopping Safety – Thieves love the holidays – and especially automobiles and houses filled with newly bought and often expensive gifts. Be diligent with locking doors and concealing packages. TIP: Don’t post on social media what you bought, where you are shopping.
Receipts – Don’t put receipts in the bag with the items you just bought – it makes it way too easy for returns, especially if you paid cash plus you won’t have proof you bought the item and it was stolen.
Cash – avoid carrying a lot of it, and if you do – be careful of showing what’s in your wallet when checking out – thieves watch for that!
In the end – it comes down to awareness and taking some simple precautions. Hope these tips and tricks are helpful – have a safe and happy holiday season!