The holidays always come with a lot of joy and merry-making; however, you have to be aware that it also comes with its potential disasters.
If you know what to watch out for, you can reduce the chance of encountering such disasters.
Let’s look at a few things to watch out for below:
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, New Year’s Day is the number 1 holiday for car theft in the U.S.
It appears that car thieves don’t take time off during the holidays. New Year’s Eve is the fourth most popular day for car theft.
There is always a decline in car theft on Christmas though, it appears some of these perpetrators take some time off during Christmas.
Fire outbreaks involving Christmas Trees and Lights:
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has indicated that Xmas tree fires are not common but they can be very deadly.
A homeowners insurance cover can ensure fire around and in your home which includes the Christmas Tree fire as well.
The U.S. firefighters responded to about 160 home fires started with Christmas trees between the years 2014 and 2018.
They led to an average of $10 million worth of property damage, 2 deaths, and 14 injuries.
There are two simple ways to keep your home free from the dangers of fire during the holidays; that is to make sure your smoke alarms are working properly and also to put up only fire-rated artificial Christmas trees.
Below are some recommendations from the NFPA:
- Pick a live tree: Always pick a fresh tree with green needles that do not fall off at the touch of the hand. Cut two inches from the base of the trunk before placing your tree in the stand.
- Keep some distance: Place the tree away from any source of heat like candles, heating vents, radiators, and fireplaces. It should be at least three feet away.
- Keep it watered: Always add water to the live tree every day.
- Use quality lights: Always keep in mind that some lights are for indoor use only.
Inspect your lights
- Do not decorate your tree with candles that are lit
- Turn off the lights before bed or when you leave the house.
- Dispose of the tree after Christmas.
- Takedown your outdoor lights after Christmas.
There is a lot of kitchens during the holidays, and your homeowner’s insurance would definitely cover you on that.
According to a 2020 NFPA report, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve are among the top five days on which home cooking fires occur.
The U.S. fire department received 740 home cooking fire reports on Christmas day in 2020 and about 650 on Christmas Eve. The daily average for the home cooking fire was 470 in the year 2018.
Between the years 2014 and 2018, these home fires have led to an average of 4,820 injuries, 550 deaths per year, and $1.2 billion in property damage according to the NFPA.
Here are a few tips from the NFPA to keep you safe:
- Stay in the Kitchen: Never leave the kitchen you are not done with your cooking. When you have to step out for a minute, make sure you turn the stove off.
- Stay alert: Make sure someone else replaces you when you are feeling sleepy or tipsy.
- Watch the food
- Keep kids at a distance.
Accidents Involving Holiday Guests
Your homeowner’s insurance always includes coverage for injuries to guests. If the injury is a small one, they would pay very quickly. The medical limits are as low as $1000.
For injuries that are severe, they provide $100,000 in personal liability coverage. The liability coverage also pays your legal fees when you are sued by a guest.
You can be sued as a social host when a drunk guest of yours goes off drunk and harms someone.
Some insurance policies cover liquor liability while others don’t.
Find out from your insurance company if your policy would cover you for liquor liability, if not, you can add a host liquor endorsement to make sure you have coverage.
Below are a few tips to keep your home safe during the holidays:
- Make sure exterior lights are in good shape
- Always clean up spills from the floor to prevent guests from slipping and falling
- Clear snow and ice from the stairs, driveways, and walkways before your guest arrive.
- Use no-slip mays to secure rags and prevent falling.
- Never allow a drunk visitor to get behind the wheel of their car.
The Insurance Information Institute offers these guidelines as well:
Serve a lot of non-alcoholic beverages to reduce the chance of a guest becoming drunk.
If possible, arrange a taxi for them or invite a drunk guest to spend the night at your home. You could also designate a sober driver for them.