The holidays are a time to celebrate, but celebrations come with unique seasonal risks. A
home inspection can help you identify any potential safety hazards so that you can take
measures to enhance home safety. Bearing that in mind, here’s a home safety checklist to
make your holiday season safer and more enjoyable.
Test Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Roughly 16% of the deaths caused by home fires happen in homes where the smoke alarms
aren’t working. Protect the lives of the people in your home by testing your smoke alarms to
ensure they are working properly. Also, change dead batteries if necessary. Similarly, do the
same for your carbon monoxide alarms. As a rule of thumb, ensure you test and replace the batteries on your detectors at least once a year. Also, replace detectors every decade as they tend to lose sensitivity over time.
Observe Fireplace Safety
Dirty chimneys are a leading cause of chimney fires. If you have a fireplace, ensure you have
Your chimney is cleaned at least once annually by a professional chimney sweep. Additionally, before lighting your fireplace, keep flammable objects like your Christmas tree and decorations away from the fireplace. Finally, never use wrapping paper to start fires. It burns intensely, and it can produce toxic fumes.
Keep a Fire Extinguisher Nearby
Following home safety precautions can help you prevent fires, but if there’s a fire, you’ll
need to put it out. Ensure you have at least one working fire extinguisher in your home to
prevent a blaze from getting out of control. Also, keep it in an accessible location and ensure
everyone in your home knows how to use it appropriately.
Avoid Overloading Outlets
Overloaded outlets can cause electrical fires. When stringing lights on your Christmas tree,
don’t overload outlets. Also, inspect light strings before stringing them to ensure they are still in good condition. Finally, don’t overload outlets with space heaters or multiple extension cords because they can overload the outlet and cause an electrical fire.
Ensure Your Furnace and Water Heater are Properly Vented
Your furnace and water heater need to be properly vented to function efficiently. Improper
venting caused by backdrafts can be dangerous if not resolved. If you suspect your furnace
and heater aren’t properly vented, contact an HVAC professional for service.
Install a Security System
Consider installing a smart home security system that can allow you to control door locks and lights remotely using your smartphone. Turning your lights on and off when you’re away will create the appearance that there’s someone home and deter thieves. Also, for extra protection, request a trusted neighbor to monitor your home and report any suspicious activity if you’ll be away for several days.
Keep Travel Plans Off Social Media
Avoid posting your travel plans online. Posting your travel plans on social media will inform
burglars when you’re away and turn your unoccupied home into a prime target.
Be Cautious with Candles
Candles are an excellent way to set the holiday mood, but they need to be handled with care because they are responsible for about half of all decoration-related home fires. Prevent candle fires by observing the following home safety tips: -Never leave burning candles unattended and keep them within sight
-Place lighted candles away from flammable materials like decorations or curtains
-Place candles on firm surfaces and use sturdy candleholders
-Put out candles before you go to bed, leave the room, or leave the house
-Consider using fake candles as a substitute for traditional candles
Clear Your Walkway and Driveway
During the holidays, snow and ice may accumulate on your driveway and walkway, making
navigation difficult. Ensure you sprinkle salt or ice melt and shovel snow in these areas to
keep them safe and prevent injuries due to slips or falls.
Check for Gaps and Openings
Water expands as it freezes, meaning it can cause severe damage when temperatures drop in some areas. Prevent water from entering your home and causing damage by sealing any gaps around windows, walls, and doors. Also, consider contacting a home inspector to inspect your roof for any issues.
The holidays are a time to make merry and spend quality time with friends and family. But
that doesn’t mean you should throw caution to the wind. Follow the home safety tips listed
above and keep everyone in your home safe.