Dallas Texas (December 22, 2015)
Tips for Protecting You and Your Home During the Holidays
With the holidays upon us, it is a good time take a few minutes to remind yourself about how to best protect your home and your family during this busy time.
“Most of us become overwhelmed with all there is to do this time of year but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to control the things you can,” said Mitch Jawitz, vice president for National Lloyds Corporation, an insurance company specializing in policies for affordable dwellings and manufactured homes. “There are many risk factors to consider during the season that can cause accidents, damage, or even injury but, with a few simple tips, you can take steps to prevent them from occurring in the first place.”
Prepare Your Home
The holidays bring with them an abundance of decorations, lights, and candles which make your home beautiful and cozy. These decorations, however, can increase the risk of damage to your home if you use them incorrectly or do not take special precautions.
Take care of your Christmas tree so you do not become a statistic. From 2009-2013, Christmas trees were the item first ignited in an estimated average of 210 reported home fires per year, resulting in an annual average of seven fire deaths, 19 fire injuries, and $17.5 million in direct property damage. On average, one of every 31 reported home Christmas tree fires resulted in a death, compared to an average of one death per 144 total reported home fires.* These statistics come from the National Fire and Protection Association (NFPA), national estimates of reported home structure fires derived from the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) and NFPA’s annual fire department experience survey.
Be sure to keep your tree well-watered and check for faulty light strands when first decorating the tree and as you celebrate your way through the holidays. Do not overload too many cords into one outlet and be sure to use a power block with a surge protector. Do not display the tree near a wood burning fireplace as that just adds a potential risk that you can avoid. Keep candles and open flames away from the tree. And, if you celebrate your heritage with a menorah, never leave the candles unattended.
Putting on the Bling
If you are the neighbor who always decorates your house in December, remember to keep safety first. Be sure any extension cords you are using are approved for outdoor use and do not plug too many into one outlet. If you are decorating the house itself, never do it alone. Always have someone who can hold the ladder and assist you so you keep your focus on staying safe. Be sure to clear ice and snow off of the roof or any surface of the house where you are planning to stand or decorate. If you are hanging decoration up high, take precautions to make sure you are protecting yourself from injury while you recreate the perfect Griswold lit masterpiece.
Shoppers can be easily distracted when they are looking at their lists and shoving money and credit cards back into their wallets. Take time to organize yourself before you leave a store. Park in brightly lit areas and shop with a friend when you can. Keep your packages hidden or in the trunk to prevent theft. Also, you do not have to make purchases in a store to experience theft. You should also always be on the lookout for cyber theft by making sure you keep track of your receipts and review your monthly credit card statement to ensure all the charges are correct.
Hostess with the Mostest
When you invite people to your house during the holidays, you are welcoming them onto your property and accepting responsibility to keep them safe while they are there. If there is a known hazard, you need to fix it or ensure it is well marked. This could be a crack in the sidewalk, a raised section of your sidewalk or driveway, or a broken porch step just to name a few. During the winter, you need to be sure to remove any ice or snow from your driveway and sidewalks. Make sure the bushes surrounding your sidewalks and entryway are cut back so that they do not scratch or harm someone or make it difficult for visitors to stay on a safe path. If you take precautions to remove hazards or warn those approaching your house of any dangers, you can limit the possibility of someone getting hurt.
Am I Covered?
Remember, every home insurance policy is different, so check with your agent or insurance company to see what is covered under your policy. While most homeowners’ policies cover the cost of theft or damage to your home, there can always be limitations. Keep in mind that your insurance agent and company want to work with you to provide you with the best insurance protection for your property all year round. By planning effectively up front, you can be sure to have your needs covered.
About National Lloyds
Since 1948, National Lloyds Insurance Company has been working to provide its clients with access to affordable homeowners insurance, fire, and flood protection and insurance for manufactured homes. Headquartered in Waco, Texas, National Lloyds offers its customers a dedicated network of more than 4,200 agencies in over 30 states. Visit our website at www.nationallloydsinsurance.com to find an agent in your area.
For additional information contact:
National Lloyds Public Relations
*NFPA Resource: http://www.nfpa.org/research/reports-and-statistics/fire-causes/holiday/christmas-tree-and-holiday-lights