Practise safe holiday home habits this season

Merry Christmas! Joyous Kwanzaa! Feliz Navidad! No matter how you say season’s greetings in your household, the holidays are a busy time for all involving lots of decorating, entertaining and perhaps travelling. These tips will help keep your home and most importantly, loved ones out of harm’s way during the hustle and bustle.

Stay off social media

People today love sharing everything on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other online platforms. One thing you probably don’t want to post up is your stash of shiny gifts, nor details about a trip including destination and duration. Unsavoury indivduals are resourceful in acquiring this type of information and can use it to plan a break-in.

Keep presents from prying eyes

Those wrapped boxes sure do look pretty under the tree, but they also act as potential burglar bait. Don’t put your tree near a window or anywhere people peering in from the outside can easily see, or keep the blinds drawn where appropriate, particularly when there’s no one in the house.

Check all cords

This is a common tip, and for good reason: all those wires being run inside and out can be a prime cause for electrical fires if even one is compromised. Inspect every strand for fraying and whether any bulbs are damaged. Replace immediately if so. Also, avoid stringing together multiple extension cords.

Clear away combustibles

Remove fuel containers, paint, chemicals and similar items that can easily be set ablaze from the area surrounding a fireplace or furnace. It’s always a good idea to store gasoline and propane cylinders outside if possible.

Notify next-door

Going somewhere? Let a trustworthy neighbour know your plans so they can note anything suspicious happening while you’re away. Have them regularly collect newspapers, flyers and mail, which otherwise could alert potential thieves to the absence of occupants.

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