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Staying Safe During the Holiday Season

The holiday season is in full swing!!! I love the holidays. I love the get-togethers and parties. The decorations and the delicious food. The time spent with my favorite people, and I really enjoy watching it all through the eyes of my kids.

These are some of the greatest joys we receive by celebrating the holidays, but I wouldn’t be the insurance nerd that I am if I didn’t point out some of the hazards and exposures during this lovely time of year…

The holidays are peak time for home cooking fires with more than three times the daily average for such incidents. Left unattended, fryers, ovens, and other cooking equipment could cause property damage or even a house fire.  When cooking and baking during the holiday season it’s easy to get distracted. Never leave things unattended and turn everything off as soon as you’re done.

Whenever extra cooking and baking is happening, an increase in fires and minor burns is inevitable. When you add candles, overloaded electrical outlets, and Christmas trees to the mix, the chance of fire goes up from there. Keep your Christmas tree watered, and if you are purchasing an artificial tree, look for one that is fire-resistant. Keep burning candles in sight and away from flammable items, and never leave a candle unattended in a room. Unplug any space heaters or wires after each use.

According to the Consumer Products Safety Report, some 15,000 people end up in the emergency room each year during the holiday season as a result of accidents related to decorating, making the most common injury at Christmas – falls.

Before decorating, check your ladder for broken or worn parts, especially if you haven’t used it since last year. Work with someone else, especially when on a ladder.

The next offender…. Icey or broken sidewalks, driveways, and stairs!

Injuries aren’t solely inside – 11% of Americans report slipping or tripping outdoors, the second highest accident during the holidays. Be sure to always salt during a snowy or icy day/night, and keep walkways clear of clutter and ice. Be aware of uneven or slippery surfaces.

Insurance carriers have been cracking down with loss recommendations for sidewalk and stair repairs. It’s a good idea to take a look at your outside walk and correct any cracks or breakage. Get ahead of it now before your home is a holiday spot for family and friends.

And my last stop on my list, I love them, our pets! Fur babies are not immune to failed festivities either, with 47% of pet owners saying their animals have messed up or destroyed holiday decorations, posing risks to both pets and humans. Remember to keep strings of lights, candles, or any other potentially hazardous decor away from where pets could access them.

I hope this helps keep you alert and aware of the property and liability risks associated with the holiday season. If you have any questions, please reach out to me anytime. I wish you a happy and healthy rest of your year!

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