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5 Ways to Stay Safe Over the Holidays

The holiday season is supposed to be filled with laughter and joy – not disaster and tears. But the holidays are in fact, when fires, accidents, and burglaries happen the most. To ensure you and your family have an enjoyable holiday season this year, here are 5 ways to stay safe over the holidays.

Prepare Your Car for Winter

If you’re planning on shopping and visiting friends and family this holiday season, it’s important to prepare your car for the winter weather. That includes checking that you have enough insurance coverage, installing winter tires, and getting the vehicle fully serviced. If you plan to drive it down south during the holidays, don’t forget to check that your insurance will cover your out-of-country trip.

Keep Travel Plans to Yourself

Bragging to everyone that you’re taking a vacation this winter can put you at risk. Burglars look for easy targets, including homes that are unoccupied around the holidays. If you’re planning to head out of town, keep the details to yourself and within the family. Never announce where you’re going, when you’re leaving or when you are coming back. Also, avoid posting your info on social media until you return, otherwise you could become a target for theft.

Keep a Close Eye on Your Lights

Electrical fires are more common around the holidays because of all the Christmas lights. Before plugging them in, it’s important to look over them for any frayed cords, exposed wires or cracked bulbs. Damage to the cord or bulbs can result in electrical shock or fire. Make sure you read the packaging carefully because outdoor and indoor lights are different and indoor lights are not insulated which means they could become hazardous if wet. Regarding outdoor lights, these should only be plugged into a ground-fault circuit interrupter outlet (GFCI) that will prevent fire and electric shocks if exposed to rain or snow. Also, avoid plugging in more than 3 strands together as it could overheat your electrical system.

Inspect the Chimney Before Use

There’s nothing quite like cozying up to a warm fire during the holidays. But if you’re not careful, your fireplace could cause smoke damage and a chimney fire. Before lighting any logs, take the time to have your chimney inspected by a professional who will clean out any creosote that can post a threat to your home and family.

Check Your Insurance Coverages

If you plan to travel for an extended period of time this holiday, don’t forget to speak with your insurance broker. You may be required to have someone check in on your home periodically if you plan to be away for more than a few days. You’ll also want to know that you’re fully protected in the event of a fire or burglary during the holidays. And while you’re there, it’s a good idea to have your broker check your auto insurance and travel insurance (if necessary) to make sure it offers you enough coverage for your holiday needs.

Contact us today at MLS Insurance for all your insurance needs!

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