Family, friends and festivities should be the focus of the holiday season, but don’t let this joyous time be marred by fire, theft, accidents and other disasters, advises the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.). Taking a few simple steps, and having the right insurance coverage can reduce these seasonal hazards. Start with these 5 safety tips and click through the links for more detail on each topic.
December is the peak month for fires caused by candles. Christmas tree-related fires, while not as common, are much more likely to be deadly
Decorations and cooking are the two leading causes of home fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Take care when decorating for the holidays not to put decorations too close to a heat source, and never leave the stove unattended while cooking.
Whether shopping online or in a brick-and-mortar store, the hustle and bustle of the holidays creates the perfect opportunity for thieves bent on stealing your credit card information.
To protect yourself, shop at reputable stores and check your credit card statements regularly, and if you find anything unusual, report it to your credit card company immediately. If your wallet is either lost or stolen, contact the police and your credit card company as soon as you can.
Many standard homeowners insurance policies now include identity theft coverage. Moreover, most homeowners and renters policies provide some coverage for stolen cash or unauthorized use of your credit card.
December is the fifth most common month in which burglaries occur, according to the FBI.
If you’re traveling over the holidays, have mail and packages picked up or held by the post office, use automatic timers to turn lights on and off and have a dependable neighbor check on the house periodically
Consider making your home more secure with dead-bolt locks, window grates and smoke/fire/burglar alarms. An added benefit: most insurers provide discounts for devices that make a home safer.