How To Prevent Holiday Home Disasters
Holidays are the most wonderful time of the year! Its a time to give thanks, a time to give, a time for family, a time for travel, and a time for smiles.
Unfortunately there are several threats that can happen over the holidays that can put a damper on your holiday partying. We do not want to be the doom and gloom for this holiday season, but Strand Security wants all of our Myrtle Beach, Grand Strand and Maryland families to be safe for the holidays.
That is why we have come up with four common mistakes that can be prevented in order to assure you and your family have the safest, most wonderful time of the year!
Prevent Identity Theft
The amount of shopping done during the holiday season puts us at greater risk for identity theft. With technology, more shopping is being done online, as well as applying for new credit over the internet. This all leads to a greater exposure to identity theft.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, consumers lost more than $1.6 billion to fraud in 2013.
5 Ways To Prevent Identity Theft
- Monitor your accounts. Make sure all charges add up to what you have spent.
- Use credit cards, not debit cards or checks. Under the Fair Credit Billing Act and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, you are not liable for fraudulent purchases with a credit card.
- Stay secure when shopping online.
- Watch the point of sale. “Skimmers” are devices that can be used to steal information by placing them on a card reader.
- Check your credit card statements at the beginning of January.
Prevent Holiday Break-ins
The amount of break-ins rise during the holiday season as a result of peoples increased financial needs. Close to 400,000 burglaries occur in the United States during the holiday months. Motive for the rise in this rate may be a result of wanting to provide gifts and food for loved ones.
10 Ways To Protect Your House During The Holidays
- Display holiday gifts and valuables away from windows. Burglars are looking for gifts under the trees! Do not leave empty gift boxes on the curb for pickup.
- Keep some lights on (best to use timers or motion sensitive lights) to make it appear as if someone is home.
- Install a security system and advertise the fact that you have one.
- Install security cameras. If you are lucky, maybe you will get some footage of Santa and his reindeer.
- Leave the TV or stereo on while gone.
- Keep the garage door closed and locked.
- Add stoppers to the windows and deadbolt locks to the doors.
- Do not make it obvious if you are going to be traveling during the holidays. This includes not announcing your plans on social media!
- Do not allow for mail and newspapers to build up. Ask a neighbor to collet items that may buildup outside.
- Keep shrubs and trees trimmed.
Prevent A Christmas Tree Fire
A Christmas tree can become fully engulfed in flames within seconds. “Christmas trees were the first items ignited in about 200 fires annually between 2010 and 2012, resulting in 10 deaths, 20 injuries, and about $17 million in property loss, according to the Safety Commission.”
6 Ways to Prevent A Christmas Tree Fire
- Always turn off the lights on trees and other decorations when you are asleep or not at home.
- Remove all wrapping paper from fireplace areas.
- Water your tree daily.
- Never light candles within the vicinity of a tree.
- Never use any electrical source such as a electric heater next to a tee.
- When purchasing your tree, make sure it is not dry.
Prevent a Cooking Fire
Cooking is a big and enjoyable part of the holidays! Families come together from all over to join together for their traditional holiday feasts.
Not to make light of the situation, but if your cooking is anything like mine, you may want to pay close attention to this next tidbit.
Cooking fires are the leading cause of house fires. Unattended cooking is the cause of almost 90 percent of kitchen fires. Every two and a half hours someone is killed in a home fire.
9 Ways to Prevent a Kitchen Fire
- Keep anything flammable such as pot holders, paper or plastic bags, or towels away from your stove top and oven.
- Prevent grease buildup by cleaning surfaces regularly.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Stay in the kitchen when frying, broiling, or grilling.
- Purchase a fire extinguisher and keep it in your kitchen.
- Always check to make sure all appliances are off before leaving the home or going to bed.
- Avoid wearing loose clothing that can dangle over the hot stove.
- Use a timer to remind you of when your dish is complete.
- Smoke alarms save lives! A smoke alarm should be installed in your kitchen, as well as on each level of your home and inside and outside of each bedroom.
A little advice can go a long way and Strand Security wants you to have the most enjoyable time of the year!
Don’t forget to nominate someone for our Security Alarm Give-Away here!