Holiday Home Hazards
Take these steps to prevent some common home hazards this holiday season—and learn how your auto and home insurance can help if something goes wrong.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 160 decorating-related injuries happen each day during the holidays, with almost half involving falls.
Safety tips: When placing decorations, use the right ladder for the job, maintain a firm grip and face the ladder when climbing up or down. Before hosting guests, be sure the path to your home is clear of ice, electrical cords and decorations that may cause someone to fall.
If you need it: Your homeowners insurance policy’s medical expense coverage will pay for injured guests, and personal liability coverage will help protect you if they decide to sue.
The National Fire Protection Association reports that between 2015 and 2019, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 160 home fires each year that started with Christmas trees.
Safety tips: For fire safety, test your smoke detectors and keep your tree adequately watered. (If a gentle tug on a branch yields a handful of needles, the tree is too dry.) Using an artificial tree? Make sure it’s fire rated.
If you need it: Homeowners insurance may cover damage from fire in and around your home. The three types of coverage that come into play are dwelling coverage for damage to the home, other structures coverage for damage to a detached garage or shed, and personal property coverage for damage to belongings, up to policy limits.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey, robberies increase by roughly 20% in December. This number pertains to the theft of physical items, not to identity theft.
Safety tips: Close and lock all windows and doors when you park your vehicle. Place valuables out of sight. Don’t leave your keys in the vehicle, and don’t leave the area while your vehicle is running. If packages will be delivered to your house while you’re away, consider setting up a security camera system to keep an eye on things.
If you need it: Personal property coverage can reimburse you for the cost of stolen property, but you should only file a claim if the value of your loss exceeds your deductible.
Avoid These Common Holiday Accidents
It’s the social season, so don’t spoil the party with a trip to the emergency room. UCLA Health published a list of common holiday-related injuries and accidents along with some tips for avoiding trouble. Here’s a summary:
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