The name of the game this holiday season is Prevention. In the insurance industry, we see a lot of disasters and accidents over the holidays that cost policyholders a great deal in damages, money, and stress. Here are some holiday home decorating tips to help ensure you don’t have to contact your insurance agent this season.
Check Smoke Alarms
Check the batteries and test each unit to make sure they’re working. If anything below should happen, working smoke alarms can mean the difference between life and death.
Avoid Open Flames
That garland might look amazing around those candles, but open flames and decorations can result in far more fire than you intended. Flameless candles can produce the same effect with a lot less risk.
Don’t Overload Electrical Outlets
Limiting the number of light strands to no more than three and using approved and lab-tested ones is highly recommended. Also be aware that older strands of lights that are cracked or in any way showing their age should be properly disposed of. Even if your tree is artificial, it can still catch on fire if the wiring in it is bad.
Be Kitchen Conscious
Don’t forget to keep cloth and paper items away from stovetops and watch out for the little ones wandering near open ovens or fireplaces. Be sure to have a currently-serviced fire extinguisher handy to help cut the response time should an accidental fire happen.
Clear Ice & Snow
Make sure you clear snow and ice from driveways, sidewalks, walkways, stairs, and porches. Even if your visitors aren’t litigious, you’ll want to do your part to avoid any trips to the emergency room.
Place foods that require a cooler temperature—such as caviar, sushi, and cocktail shrimp—on top of a bed of ice to keep them cool and fresh throughout the party and help avoid spoiling. Keep hot food on top of a burner and make sure meats are thoroughly cooked to a safe temperature to help prevent foodborne illness.
When Serving Alcohol
Designate a bartender. Check for signs of intoxication when serving alcohol to guests and, if any signs present, stop serving that guest alcohol and have them drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Encourage the use of designated drivers and keep the numbers for cab companies or use driver apps to secure a ride. Serve plenty of non-alcoholic beverage options, especially toward the end of the gathering.
While doing your holiday home decorating, keep your home and guests safe.