Seems we hardly get a break these days, trying to stay a step ahead and maintain safety in our homes, on the job, or traveling around. While we can't control everything, we can take measures to ensure our homes are relatively safe during the frantic holiday season. So as you go about your holiday preparations, take some time to consolidate your safety procedures. Be sure to ask our real estate agents in the Long Island area for more advice on how to keep your home safe in the coming weeks.
Going away for the holidays? Makes sure you ask a friend to check on your home every day, taking in the mail and receiving packages. You can also go an extra step to ensure home security by installing a camera at the front door so you can monitor what's happening in real-time. In addition, install timers so that lights come on and go off as if you were at home. Don't have lights blazing inside and outside all night long. That's a signal to burglars that no one's home.
- HVAC System
Even if the temperature is predicted to be above freezing while you're away, don't take a chance by turning the heating system down too low. Set the thermostat no lower than the mid-50s, so that even if temperatures plummet, your plumbing won't freeze. To be on the safe side, open up cabinet doors where pipes are located on an exterior wall. Wrap them in insulation or heat tape. If you have a Wi-Fi thermostat, check frequently for weather changes and adjust the thermostat as needed. Ask your friend to check on the home to make sure the heater is turning on and off properly.
- Home Fires
Home fires during the holidays are most often caused by distracted cooks who forget what's cooking. Stay vigilant when you've got a boiling pot or something in the oven. It only takes a slight breeze by a burning candle to start a house fire. Instead of candles you light, use flameless ones. Also, check strands of holiday lights for fraying or burnt-out bulbs. Throw away lights that show signs of wear. Never string more than three strands of lights together. Lights used outdoors should be rated for outdoor use.
- Christmas Tree
When it comes to being a fire hazard, the Christmas tree ranks high. Always choose a fresh tree. If needles are dried out and are falling off the tree, don't buy it. Keep the tree well-hydrated by filling the holder every day. Before you set up the tree, cut 2 or 3 inches off the base on the slant so it will draw up water better. Do not place the tree too near sources of combustion, such as a fireplace or space heater. Keep trees out of the line of hot air issuing from the HVAC vent, as this can dry it out.
- Package Delivery
Pay attention to details when you order packages and try to keep up on when they'll be delivered. Try to be home during this time or ask a neighbor to watch out for you. Even when you're not away for the holidays, keep gifts in a location where they're not easily seen from a window. Be aware that some thieves will go through your garbage looking for evidence of expensive purchases. Cut up or otherwise destroy labels, boxes, or paperwork for expensive items. Keep your doors locked securely day and night.
Need more tips on security in your Long Island Home this holiday season? Contact us today.