The holidays can be hectic. It’s a time for family, food and togetherness, but the holidays are also filled with higher instances of home thefts, fires and insurance claims than any other time of year. These are three things to keep an eye on this holiday season.

1. Lock Your Doors

During the holidays, folks are more inclined to be out and about going to parties, and shopping for presents, food, or decorations. For many, it is a couple months full of nonstop events, creating overwhelming feelings of anxiety and stress. With all of those trips out, it’s easy to forget fundamental tasks like locking your doors or turning on your security system. In fact, theft increases 7% during the holiday season.

Here are a few more tips to prevent theft:

  • If you have outside Christmas lights, make sure not to run the cords from an indoor outlet through an open window or door.
  • Do not leave the check-out line with money or a credit card in your hand, put all monies in a secure spot like a wallet or zipped purse before leaving.
  • Do not leave shopping bags in plain site in your car. Put in the trunk or cover bags with a blanket and put on the floor.
  • If you are going out of town over the holidays, have a neighbor or loved one keep an eye on your house by getting your mail, so it looks like the home is occupied.

2. Don’t Pop Too Much Champagne

We’ve all been to a holiday party where someone’s had too much to drink. Liquor and alcohol sales rise about 25-30% in December and about 40% of traffic-related deaths during Christmas and New Year’s involve drunk drivers. Despite the availability of Uber and Lyft, too many people get behind the wheel while intoxicated.

Homeowners should be aware of the perils facing them as they host holiday parties.

  • Personal liability risks go up with inebriated party goers, as they’re more likely to hurt themselves or others
  • With more decorations and holiday cheer comes increased risk of property damage.
  • Alcohol also makes people less cognizant of time so cooking under the influence can lead to fire from the burning food

3. Watch Out for Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire

Who doesn’t love watching the fire burn as family gathers around the Christmas tree to open gifts, or lighting candles to fill the home with holiday cheer? Astoundingly, the average Christmas tree related fire claim is a whopping $100,000! Home fire claims jump 15% during the holiday season.

Enjoy your flames safely:

  • Only light candles in an open area
  • People commonly use candles as centerpieces on the table for holiday feasts. But with all the shuffling and passing of food they can get knocked over, so artificial lights are a better alternative.
  • Appoint a family member to be on “candle duty” to make sure all are blown out before bedtime.
  • Keep your Christmas tree watered and away from heat, making sure to dispose of it before it gets too dry

Looking out for these things won’t make you a Scrooge! So have fun, be jolly, spread the cheer and keep an extra eye on your surroundings.

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