Avoid a home insurance claim this holiday: Tips to keep you safe

Did you know that fires caused by decorations, cooking fires, property damage, and burglary are some of the most common home insurance claims in Calgary during the holidays?

While classic holiday movies where the character fights burglars with creative traps or burn their holiday dinner during the first date is entertaining, it can be a disaster in the real world. Here are some useful safety tips to help you enjoy your holiday season and minimize your chances of a serious accident.

Safety tips for holiday lights and decorations

  • Place the Christmas tree at least three feet away from heat sources, including vents, floor and table lamps, fireplaces, and candles.
  • Avoid placing the tree in an area that creates a tripping hazard or blocks an exit.
  • Never use outdoor lights on an indoor tree.
  • Examine lights for exposed wires and broken or loose bulbs. Discard damaged lights and purchase new ones.
  • Do not overload power strips or multiple power outlets. Overloading power sources can cause them to overheat and result in a fire.
  • Never use indoor extension cords for outdoor lighting or displays.
  • Do not stretch extension cords across dry grass or snow.

Safety tips for holiday cooking

  • Never use your oven overnight or while you’re away from home.
  • Avoid plugging cooking appliances into an extension cord. Always plug directly into an outlet.
  • Do not place flammable materials near stove burners, including oven mitts, wooden utensils, containers, cooking oil, and towels.
  • Clean grease from stovetops and countertops immediately.

Safety tips to protect your home this holiday

  • Consider a home security system with a motion sensor camera. Home insurance companies often give discounts on home insurance policies when qualifying alarm systems are installed. Speak with your broker about possible savings on your policy.
  • Clear away snow and ice from porches, sidewalks, driveways, and decks.
  • Check your windows’ safety locks and look for any damage to the frame.
  • Always confirm that all doors are locked before leaving the house, including side doors, back doors, and doors leading to the garage.
  • Consider installing modern home security features, such as a doorbell security camera, touchpad lock and automatic garage openers that allow you to see notifications, lock doors and operate them virtually on your mobile device.
  • Test fire and CO2 alarms regularly.

Final thoughts

When in doubt, it is always a good idea to review your policy with your broker. They can answer your concerns and provide additional advice to safeguard you and your family.

As brokers representing competing home insurance companies, we help homeowners find the package that fits their lifestyle and needs.

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