Home Care 101: Protecting Your Home During the Holidays

Dated: November 10 2021

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We all laugh along with classic holiday movie disasters, like when the booby-trapped iron hits the burglar in the face in Home Alone or the Griswold's outdoor Santa decoration explodes into the sky in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. While Kevin McCallister and Clark Griswold make us laugh, no one wants their own holiday celebrations to resemble theirs in any way. As we get ready to celebrate the holidays, brush up on these tips for protecting your home during the holiday season. 

Off and On

One of the simplest ways to protect your home from fire and theft during the holidays is by running through a quick off-and-on checklist every time you leave your house or go to bed. 

  • Turn off all indoor and outdoor holiday lights. 
  • Turn off all cooking appliances, including the oven. 
  • Put out lit candles.
  • Turn on outdoor security lights at all home entrances and any dark areas.
  • Turn on video surveillence. Check batteries frequently. 

Plugging In

Electrical fires are a common cause of fires during the holidays. A few simple tips can help you avoid electrical fires. 

  • Outdoor and indoor electricial elements are not interchangeable. Be sure all lights, power strips, extension cords marked for outdoor use are only used outside, and vice versa. 
  • Never run an extension cord through a cracked-open window or door allowing burglars easy entry.
  • Throw away strings of lights with damage to bulbs or wires.
  • Only use power strips with curcuit breakers or surge protection.
  • Do not lay extension cords over dry grass or puddles.
  • Use hooks or insulated staples rather than nails or tacks to avoid damaging cords when hanging lights outside. 
  • Never connect cooking appliances to extension cords.

A Different Application for the Three-Feet Rule 

In the past two years, we've heard a lot about the three-feet rule as a way to protect against infection. A three-feet rule can also help prevent home fires. 

  • Keep live and artificial trees three feet away from heat sources like lamps, vents, radiators, candles, cooking applicances and fireplaces.
  • Never allow lit candles any closer than three feet from anything flammable. Put out candles when the flame is two inches from its holder.
  • Use turkey fryers at least three feet from dry grass or shrubs and never indoors or in a garage. Consider using an oilless turkey fryer.
  • While three feet of distance is usually not necessary near cooktops, keep flammable materials such as cooking oil, grease, packaging, oven mitts, dish towels and utensils away from burners. 

Don't Dry Out

Dry trees or other foliage, especially with lights on them, is one of the most common causes of fire during the holiday season. 

  • When putting up a live tree, cut two inches off end the trunk to make sure water can get to the tree. Water live Christmas trees daily. 
  • If you have a live tree, make sure the tree has fresh green needles that do not fall off when touched. Discard the tree when it gets dry and needles begin to fall off.
  • Never put outdoor lights on dry or dead trees or shrubs.

Appearances Are Everything

Take a moment to look at your home through the eyes of a burglar. What attracts them to your home? What keeps them away?

  • Make sure trees, shrubbery and outdoor decorations do not provide hiding places for criminals near doors and windows.
  • Display gifts out of sight of doors and windows.
  • Using light timers and have mail and newspapers stopped or picked up so that your home doesn't look empty when away.  
  • Breakdown and bag boxes that have pictures of expensive items on them. Burglars use post-holiday trash days as a way to case which houses are worth robbing. 

It's a Wrap

We hope these tips help you Griswold-proof your home for the holidays so you can safely enjoy your holidays, movies and all. Now just be sure to use a surge protector when you plug in your A Christmas Story leg lamp.

Happy holidays to you all from your friends at LW Reedy. 



At LW Reedy, we care about your family and your home. If you have any questions about caring for your home or are considering buying or selling a home, contact your LW Reedy Realtor today. Do you have ideas for our Home Care 101 series? Email us at info@lwreedy.com or message us through Facebook. 

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