Holiday Hazards and Safety Recommendations
By Kenny Wilson, K&R Premier Property Management
Here are some helpful tips this Holiday Season to increase safety and reduce hazards in your community and home.
*If you have a live Christmas tree, please remember to water it.
Christmas tree fires account for millions of dollars of loss each year and sadly also account for fire related deaths in the U.S. Properly watering live trees will help to reduce the likelihood of tree related fires. Owners are also encouraged to inspect all electrical lines and lights when placing them on Holiday trees to minimize the risk of electrical sparks.
*Christmas Tree ornaments can injure pets and children-plan accordingly and properly attach ornaments to the tree.
*Install cheap and easy automatic outlets to turn lights on and off to deter strangers.
The use of these inexpensive outlets can help to deter strangers when you are not home. They can also help to make sure that your trees and other electric decorations are not left on all night.
*Check your GFCI outlets for proper operation and replace if needed.
GFCI, or “Ground Fault Circuit Interruption” outlets are designed to disconnect power in wet conditions. Proper operation of these GFCI outlets is necessary to protect your home and family. If you are concerned that a GFCI outlet in your home is not working properly, we recommend you have it replaced immediately.
*Do not overload your outlets with too many devices, this can lead to a fire.
Review the load draw on your electrical items and make sure that the amount of power being drawn in your circuit is less than what it is rated for. Inspect your breakers to know the rating of any one circuit in your home.
*Install an automatic locking deadbolt.
Install an automatic locking deadbolt on the primary entry door for your home in case children (or even adults) forget to lock it when they leave. Make sure the children know the code, but remind them of the importance of NOT sharing the code to get into the home. These deadbolts help to deter would-be thieves.
*Consider a NON-HOA endorsed neighborhood watch program in conjunction with local authorities.
*Take Individual Security Measures.
Pickup your mail regularly or daily. Don’t leave packages on the porch. Get a video doorbell installed. If you are leaving town, ask a trusted neighbor to watch your home and pickup packages.
*Have a fire escape plan with your family and practice it. Be fire safe!
Purchase or have fire extinguishers on hand that are not expired. If they are expired, replace them and dispose of the old, expired extinguishers. Also, make sure that you regularly check the batteries on smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure that you Install a carbon monoxide detector as low as possible in the home since carbon monoxide is heavier than air.
*Get an Ice Melt bucket and scoop with a lid and place it near the front door.
Liberally apply ice melt when you expect snow accumulation overnight when you are asleep. Shovel your driveway as soon as possible after a snow storm or when there is significant accumulation of snow and then apply more ice melt when you are done. Try to NOT drive on snow with your car, this creates unsafe icy conditions and is very difficult to remove. Instead, shovel tracks for your car first.
*Frozen water lines and burst pipes lead to extensive damage.
We recommend a smart shutoff valve like FLO by Moen. This smart valve senses leaks and automatically shuts off your water main and reports it to you, even when you are not home. If you cannot afford a smart valve, we recommend you turn off your water if you aren’t going to be home for a few days. Water damage in your home can exceed tens of thousands of dollars. Even with insurance, the time and frustration you have to endure to wait for the repairs, along with your out-of-pocket deductible, will far exceed the few seconds it takes to turn off your water.
*HOAs Landscaping Maintenance.
Properly maintained landscaping, even in the winter, can minimize injuries to people walking through and around your community. By making sure there are no holes, unlevel areas, or high-risk areas in your community, you are also helping keep insurance costs down.