Many things can go awry in your home, especially during the winter months. Here are a few things to consider before heading to grandma's house or hosting a holiday party this year:
1. Prevent Freezing Pipes
The last thing you want to come home to is a flooded mess. Prevent water damage by making sure that all of your pipes are insulated and keeping the thermostat above 55 degrees. Opening your kitchen and bathroom cabinets can also help circulate warm air around the plumbing.
2. Don't Post on Social Media
For the sake of your home's safety, it's best to keep your travel plans to yourself. Refrain from posting things about your upcoming holiday trip on social media such as when you're leaving or when you're coming back, as this is prime information for thieves.
3. Protect Your Gifts
When it comes time to set up the Christmas tree, consider placing it away from fireplaces or other direct heat sources to prevent the tree (and the gifts beneath it) from catching fire.
4. Check Christmas Lights
The U.S. Fire Administration deems December the most dangerous month when it comes to electrical fires. Prevent fire damage by inspecting your Christmas light strands for any frayed cords or broken bulbs. Also, make it a habit of turning off your holiday lights before you leave your home or turn in for the night.
5. Alert Your Neighbors
If you're planning on spending the holidays away from home, it's recommended that you inform your most trusted neighbors. They can keep a look out for any suspicious activity and/or potentially dangerous situations.
6. Examine Your Heating Equipment
Fireplaces and furnaces can cause severe damage to your home if they are not working properly. If you haven't already, hire a professional to inspect your furnace, clean the air ducts, and sweep your chimney. This way your house will be heated safely whether you are home or away!