Christmas is coming and as a gift to you we’ve prepared a practical guide to avoiding certain misadventures during the holidays. Follow our tips to stay ahead of potential burglars and avoid the risk of fire and other mishaps while having guests in your home.
Leading up to Christmas
Outwit potential thieves when shopping for presents
With Christmas just a few days away, you may be out doing some last minute shopping for those hard-to-find gifts. Remember that the holidays is also the favourite time of year for burglars. Discretion is the key. When leaving stores, don’t make it obvious that you have a few hundred dollars’ worth of gifts with you. Be sure to put your gifts in the trunk instead of your back seat to keep them out of sight.
Choose a safe tree and decorations
If you haven’t done so yet, you’ll soon be getting ready to decorate your home. To have the best decorated house on the block and the safest too, keep these rules in mind:
- To reduce the risk of fire, make sure your natural Christmas tree stays fresh and never runs out of water.
- Choose CSA-certified lights.
- Always turn off your Christmas lights when you leave the house and when going to bed.
- Use decorative lightbulbs instead of real candles.
- Avoid overloading extension cords and electrical outlets.
During the holidays
If celebrating away from home…
Plan ahead when driving. Watch out for bad weather and check the forecast before leaving home. Adapt your driving and if necessary, adjust your plans if road conditions aren’t safe.
Whether leaving the house for the evening or for several days, prevent theft by being discreet. Even if you’re dying to post the news that you’ll be spending the holidays with your family in a beautiful cottage in the woods, that may not be the best idea. Social media has become a useful tool for criminals, and posting where you’re going and for how long only makes things easier for them. To keep unwanted visitors from dropping in while you’re gone, wait until you’re home to post photos from your gathering.
You can also discourage thieves by making it look like you’re home when you’re not. You can use a timer to turn on and off a light or two, have your walk shoveled and ask someone to pick up your mail.
If everyone’s coming to your house…
Beware of potential fires. It’s December 24th in the afternoon. Excitement is in the air, the oven’s working overtime and the kids are running all over the house. Watch out, the risk of fire is at its peak. Now is the time to remember some everyday safety tips:
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use a timer to avoid forgetting things in the oven.
- Never heat a pan of oil on the stove. Use an electric or deep fryer instead.
Before your guests arrive, take the time to clear all entrances. Outside, clear the ice and snow from all entrances to the house to keep anyone from slipping and getting hurt. Now you’re ready to host Christmas.
To wrap it up...
Your gathering was a success. The turkey was delicious and the kids all got what they wanted from Santa. Your mother and mother-in-law got along well and you even got something nice from your secret Santa. Before crying victory, if the wine and eggnog was flowing, make sure that anyone who’s had more than the legal limit of alcohol doesn’t drive home in their car. Call a taxi or designated driver service or invite them to stay the night.