Give the Gift of Safety this year!
December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month. As you’re shopping for your children’s Christmas gifts, you’re mindful of how safe they are (i.e. whether they have sharp edges or loose pieces that could be potentially harmful). However, it’s equally important to keep safety top-of-mind in your home throughout the holiday season as well. Here are our five top tips to give the gift of safety to your family, not just for the holidays, but all winter long.
- Use candles with care. Candles add to the ambiance of a holiday celebration and make a beautifully set table feel even more festive. But they must be used with care. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), an average of 23 home fires are caused by candles daily, with the highest numbers occurring on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. To keep your home and family safe and avoid the need for unexpected fire damage restoration, keep flammable objects away from lit candles, and place them where they can’t be knocked over by guests or pets. Also, make sure all candles are fully extinguished before you go to bed. For the ultimate in fire safety, choose flameless candles instead.
- Tend to your tree. While a Christmas tree makes a holiday feel special, it’s a holiday tradition that can cause fire damage if it’s not properly taken care of. Christmas tree fires can occur when the tree dries out or if it’s placed too close to your home’s heat sources, such as fireplaces or heating vents. To avoid a Christmas tree fire that could result in the need for fire damage restoration, follow safety guidelines with lights and decorations and water your tree daily. Also, be sure to keep your tree at least three feet away from your home’s heat sources.
- Keep an eye on your pipes. Your family isn’t the only thing you need to keep warm during the winter. As it gets colder outside, the chances of your pipes bursting increase, which can cause flooded basements, flooded crawl spaces or water damaged ceilings. To help prevent your pipes from freezing during the winter months: keep your thermostat set at 65 degrees or warmer, wrap exposed water pipes with heating tape, and let faucets near exterior walls or under cabinets drip. To minimize water damage in the event that you do experience a burst pipe, make sure you know where your water main shut-off is and are comfortable using it. If you can turn off the water quickly, you can reduce the amount of water damage restoration you might need.
- Ensure you’re insured. As Santa is delivering everything on your family’s wish list, make sure all those new goodies are protected. Consult with your insurance agent immediately after making high-ticket purchases like electronics or jewelry, and get them added on to your insurance policy. In the case of an unexpected event like fire damage or water damage, a property restoration company that specializes in contents restoration may be able to save more items than you might expect, so check with them before replacing lost valuables.
- Fix your fireplace. A cozy fireplace makes everyone feel warm and welcome. They give us a place to hang our stockings, and they give Santa access for toy deliveries! All joking aside, it’s important to ensure that your fireplace is clean and in good working order to avoid an unexpected holiday event. Maintain it properly and, in the event of a power outage from a strong storm, never try to use your fireplace exclusively to heat your house. Also, make sure you have a set schedule for changing the batteries in your smoke detectors and that you have a disaster preparedness plan that the whole family is familiar with.
Keep the joy in the season
In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, the last thing you want to worry about is damage to your home. Keep the season joyful by heeding these top five tips to keep your family safe throughout the holiday season, and beyond.
For more than 35 years, Hays + Sons has been the restoration company that families, businesses and schools trust. The compassionate, experienced and trusted restoration experts at Hays + Sons are just a phone call away, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. With offices throughout the Midwest in Fort Wayne, Crown Point, Indianapolis, Columbus, Muncie and Lafayette as well as Cincinnati, Ohio, there’s a Hays + Sons near you.