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Four Ways to Keep Your Home Safe During the Holidays

The holiday season is a busy and bustling time of the year. All of the activity may make it difficult to keep up with home maintenance and safety issues. These four tips will help you to keep your home safe for your family and guests during the holiday season and throughout the winter months of the year.

Check Electrical Items

Holiday decorating often involves the use of electrical items such as inflatable decorations, colorful lights and extra cooking appliances. Before you set up an inflatable outdoor decoration or a string of holiday lights, check the cords to make sure that they are not frayed. Check the item's packaging to make sure it has the UL seal of approval. Avoid using extension cords. They might cause someone to trip. Inspect your outlets and call an electrician if an outlet gets hot, arcs or causes the circuit to trip.

Keep Paths Clear

Keeping paths clear inside and outside of your home helps to avoid slip-and-fall accidents. In places that get ice or snow, be sure to shovel whenever there is more than 1 inch of snow. Using an ice melt product such as rock salt helps to avoid slippery spots on your front porch and steps. Inside your home, avoid placing items on steps. Make sure that the hallways are free of clutter such as shoes and boots.

Maintain Good Lighting

During the winter season, the sun rises late and sets early. When there is not enough light to see, your visitors could lose their footing and fall. Consider installing motion-detection lights that will activate when someone walks up to your front door. You may also wish to plug in some night lights that will automatically turn on during low lighting conditions.

Get the Furnace and Fireplace Checked

No matter whether you are having a cozy holiday with just a few people or you are having a big gathering with dozens of guests, you will need to maintain indoor comfort. Be sure to get a furnace checkup in the autumn to make sure that your heating system is ready to do the job once the cold weather arrives. A furnace checkup will also make sure that there are no safety issues such as carbon monoxide leaks. If you plan to use your fireplace, have a chimney sweep come out and clean the fireplace and chimney. The technicians will also check to make sure that the exhaust flues are clear and that there are no structural problems such as cracks. If you do not already have one, install a carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home.

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