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Eight ways to deck your halls safely this holiday season.

Deidre Plotnick November 18, 2020
Mother and daughter cuddling in front of a holiday fireplace.

While the holiday season is usually a time filled with holiday gatherings, it’s likely that this year we’ll all be spending most of our time cozying up at home. That’s not to say we can’t get into the full-fledged holiday spirit! We can still deck our homes, gift shop online and get those purchases conveniently delivered right to our ho-ho-homes. With so much of this year’s holiday focused on home, you’ll want to make sure to keep yours safe and sound.

Bear these holiday safety tips in mind to keep your festive season safe and sound.

  • Use a surge protector and don’t overload your outlets when putting up Christmas lights
  • Keep your tree wet and away from any heat sources
  • Make sure your fireplace is safe before lighting any fires
  • Keep space heaters away from anything flammable
  • Shovel and salt your front walk for delivery and postal people
  • Check for parcel deliveries so they’re not sitting outside your door
  • Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Install and turn on exterior lights if you’re going to be away from home

Light up the season.

Holiday lights certainly add sparkle to the holidays, but you’ll want to make sure yours are safe. 

• Use a surge protector to guard against power overloads and possible fires
• Avoid overloading outlets with too many lights or extension cords
• Use one longer extension cord instead of connecting multiple cords

Love candles? Consider flameless candles. Today’s options actually look pretty lifelike and CAA Members get a little something extra on these when shopping Indigo or Stokes online. If you must have the real thing, keep these away from the tree, curtains, children and pets. Of course, never leave candles unattended.

Young children stringing lights on a Christmas tree.

Trim the tree.

Freshly cut trees are less of a fire hazard because they’re naturally wet. 

• Help your tree stay wet by keeping the trunk submerged in water
• Buy a sturdy tree stand and place your tree away from your fireplace, radiator, space heater, vent or television
• Brown needles mean your tree is drying out and becoming a fire hazard. When you see those, it’s time to take it to the curb

Give heaters space.

Space heaters are an easy way to warm up drafty spaces. Keep all space heaters away from flammable objects like paper, cardboard and fabrics. Plug your unit directly into the wall (don’t use a power bar) and never leave it unattended. Wall-mounted heaters need space too so keep flammable objects at least 3 feet away.

Family sitting in front of fireplace decorated for CHristmas.

Cozy up by the fire.

Warming by the fire is a wonderful way to spend the holiday. Just remember to never leave that roaring fire unattended.

• Be sure to have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional
• Before you light a fire, remove any stockings and/or decorations hanging nearby 

Talking the walk.

The holiday season will likely mean more delivery people and postal workers coming up your walk. Shovel and salt or sand after heavy snowfalls – you can actually be fined in many Ontario cities if you don’t! Not a do-it-yourselfer? Leave the shoveling to Yardly. If you’re a CAA Member you save 10% on services.

Check your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

These should be checked every month. Know where to install alarms and how to check the batteries. Make sure you have carbon monoxide detectors on every level. Need to buy an alarm? CAA Members save and earn rewards when shopping Rona and Home Depot online.

Boxes of deliveries placed outside the front door of a home.

Don’t attract porch pirates.

Most companies will let you know your expected delivery date and will knock at your door when delivering your parcel. But not all do. So, when you have a delivery coming, check outside your door throughout the day.  The last thing you’ll want is for somebody to walk off with your carefully chosen gifts!

 

Let there be light.

If you are going to be going away for any length of time, consider installing motion-activated exterior lights in front and out back. Timers on interior lights can create the illusion that somebody is home. Another tip: ask a neighbour to pick up any mail, newspapers or parcels from your front porch.

Keeping these simple tips in mind can help your holiday season stay safe, festive and fun. For an added sense of comfort, check in on your home insurance. CAA licensed insurance agents give complimentary policy reviews to ensure you have proper coverage. Head online or call: 1-833-345-0491 to find out if you’re enjoying all of the benefits that CAA Home Insurance offers. Ask how CAA Members save up to 10% on their premiums too. 

May your holiday season be filled with comfort and joy.