With the holiday season underway, it can be easy to get wrapped up in the magic without remembering that there are many hazards for all of us to consider. The usual hazards are revolving around travel, cooking, decorating, and more, but this year we now have an added global pandemic to contend with as the United States continues to battle COVID-19. Nevertheless, there is plenty of holiday cheer to spread, celebrations to be had, and loved ones to see. Make sure that it is all done in a responsible manner by remembering to consider these six holiday hazards to pay attention to this year.
1. Don’t be a Target for Shipping Thieves
There’s almost nothing as exciting as seeing a porch or front door with a brown box sitting there waiting to be opened. Sadly, thieves agree and with so many online purchases occurring with an even bigger increase expected thanks to issues surrounding COVID-19, shoppers are wise to be vigilant about their incoming packages. Dropboxes with digital access that can be installed on your porch are a great investment if you are a frequent online shopper and other security measures such as doorbells with cameras and security systems can help deter would-be thieves.
2. Protect Yourself From Traditional Thieves as Well
Just because your packages make it inside does not mean that they are safe. Thieves know that this is the time in which many homeowners will inadvertently “advertise” the things they’ve worked hard for or been blessed with and are looking for the perfect opportunity. For tips on deterring thieves, take a look at our article here; however, take a look below at a few additional tips to remember with a focus on the holiday season at hand:
- Throw away boxes discreetly. Make sure that brand names are hidden and important documents are secure or destroyed appropriately.
- Cybercriminals may not be the most traditional, but in 2020, they are everywhere. New devices can lead to new threats and having the right WiFi protection, software protection, and passwords can help you connect while keeping others out.
- There can be a lot of traffic during the holiday season, even as we socially distance. Be sure to keep doors locked if you are out and about visiting friends and family.
- Never leave new gifts outside and unattended. Be sure to have a secure area to keep your new favorite things away from the wrong hands.
3. Driving in Wintry Conditions
In some states, odd weather patterns can create wintry conditions even in places you may least expect it. (We’re looking at you, Texas.) Even if you are a seasoned pro, the conditions that ice, sleet, and snow can create are never ideal. Be sure to check your car and ensure everything is in working order. Proper antifreeze levels, working ABS systems, and emergency roadside kits are great places to start when preparing for harsh winter conditions.
4. Be Mindful of Irresponsible Drivers
Snowy conditions aren’t the only thing drivers should be wary of this holiday season. Even with many staying home for the holidays, drivers can expect the roads to be busy with lots of added traffic. This means an increase in activity and an increase in distracted drivers. Drive defensively and be part of the solution: keep your eyes on the road. The texts can wait, social media, even eating…if it’s a distraction, it can wait. Drivers can also do their part by enjoying alcohol this holiday season responsibly. Beyond the uptick in patrols and the possibility of causing a costly accident, the last thing anyone wants is to turn their holiday celebration into a celebration of life. Never drink and drive and always stay protected with the right auto policy.
5. Remember to Watch for Cooking Hazards
Food is one of the best parts of the holidays with so many different dishes available. From sweet to savory, the holiday season does not disappoint. Be mindful of your cooking temperatures and always exercise caution when using fire, propane, and other dangerous tools such as knives. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is also especially important to think about helping to limit the spread of illnesses this year. Limit more “social” dishes such as punches or dips to single servings to help keep everyone having a safer holiday this season.
6. Fire Hazards are Important to Remember Beyond the Kitchen
There are some obvious fire hazards that come with cooking and since the kitchen is the place in which most dishes are created, it makes sense to observe fire with caution; however, the best room in the house isn’t the only place that poses a threat to catch fire to your home:
- Be mindful of your Christmas lights and remember to check for loose or faulty wiring.
- Keep cords away from high traffic areas to avoid wear and tear which can lead to electrical fires.
- Always monitor candles and fireplaces. Never leave them unattended even while sleeping.
- Never use a space heater under a blanket. You may end up getting warmer than you think.
- Be sure to water your real Christmas tree as the moisture will not only provide a healthier tree but will also keep these extremely flammable trees from being a fire hazard.
- Fried turkeys are very popular throughout the holiday season but can lead to disaster. Always cook this dish away from flammable materials, outside, and avoid overfilling your pot with too much oil. Be sure to also make sure your turkey is defrosted completely because any remaining ice can lead to a fireball.
Stay Insured Against Many Holiday Hazards With TGS Insurance
The holidays are a great time to reconnect with family and unwind, but as we can see, there are many hazards for homeowners and motorists alike to be prepared for. You deserve a relaxing holiday season and TGS Insurance can help by providing you with peace-of-mind through customized coverage built to save you money. We shop through over 35 top-rated insurance carriers to find you the best insurance policies that fit your coverage needs and budget. You can even bundle your home and auto policies for even more savings. Enjoy your holiday season and contact us to stay covered while saving today!