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6 Tips for Holiday Safety

Neighbors watch out for each other during the holidays (assuming your neighbor isn’t the Grinch), and your neighbors at Haahr Law Group want to watch out for you. While we normally work to help you after something goes wrong, we’d much rather you never experienced a problem in the first place.

6 tips for holiday safety

So as a holiday gift from them to you, we present you with six things to watch out for this holiday season so you can focus on making memories with your family.

Beware of hidden fire dangers (hint: they’re in the kitchen)

Sure, you’ve heard the stories about Christmas Trees catching fire, but did you know that’s not the only cause of holiday fires? Sure, you should never leave your tree lights on when you leave your home, but don’t leave an inexperienced cook unattended in the kitchen either.

Cooking-related fires are all too common during the holidays, with deep fryers at the top of the list. Make sure someone will remind you that you left ham in the oven way too long. Keep Christmas decorations in the kitchen to a minimum and always away from the stove.

Don’t leave your place Home Alone

Although we like to think we’re in good company here in St. Pete, there’s always a few bad apples that sleuth around looking for easy targets. If you’ll be going out of town (or even just spending Christmas Day at Grandma’s) don’t let your house look empty.

Find inspiration from Kevin from Home Alone and do whatever you can to keep thieves from targeting your house. Invest in light timers, which can turn your lights and TV on at random intervals. Keep newspapers and mail from piling up by asking a neighbor to collect it or pausing delivery. And if you decide to place some booby traps for would-be thieves, be our guest.

Keep an eye on children and pets

Kids and pets alike are fascinated by the holiday season. Definitely keep them out of the kitchen, but also make sure that decorations and poisonous plants are up, up, and away from their reach.

Lights and small decorations might be chewed or choked on, and trees can be pulled over. Basically, your house is now a war zone and you must treat it as such. You can keep on celebrating, but make sure you’re smart about it.

Hang your stockings by the chimney with care

For all you lucky Floridians with fireplaces, use caution if you’re burning them for the first time this year. Make sure the chimney chute is clean and clear of debris, and don’t hang the stockings too close to the fire. When you finally do light it, use a fireplace screen to keep embers from escaping and lighting up anything in your home. And please don’t put your Christmas tree right next to the fire. We know it’s pretty, but it’s not worth the risk.

Don’t brag about your vacation yet

Wait until you’re back from out of town before alerting social media that your house is empty. Thieves can easily search through social posts to look for signs that someone may have left a home unattended. If you just scored a big TV or other expensive present don’t share the news out just yet. When you do, you’re pretty much announcing you’ve got a big ticket item up for grabs.

Avoid lighting up the town

If it’s a fire you’re after, dry winter air and holiday decorations are a match made in heaven. Don’t light your house up to Griswald Family proportions. Hang as few lights possible, and make sure the ones you do are low-wattage and spread out across your home to avoid putting too much stress on any one circuit. That means no mile long strings of lights–it really isn’t a contest. Where you can, choose non-electrical decorations, and keep everything away from heaters and fireplaces.