This week someone in my neighborhood had three UPS packages stolen from her front porch. I read a news article recently about crooks, who follow UPS delivery drivers on their routes and steal packages after the drop offs.
The holidays are a time of merrymaking and gift giving, but they can also be a time when thieves abound and houses decked with Christmas decorations can present their own hazards.
Here then are nine tips to keep this holiday and future ones safe:
1. Don’t leave candles unattended and don’t leave young children alone with a burning candle. The top three days for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s Day and Christmas Eve. The top month for candle fires is December, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
2. Make sure your smoke alarms have working batteries. Push the test button to find out.
3. Determine if your chimney needs sweeping and also check to see if anything is stuck in your chimney flue which can turn into a hazard when you use your fireplace.
4. To avoid potential salmonella poisoning, don’t drink homemade eggnog made with raw eggs or eat raw cookie dough.
5. Don’t hang indoor Christmas lights outside.
6. If you’re on vacation, stop your newspaper delivery and your mail service so outsiders are less likely to detect that you are gone.
7. Use LED Christmas lights which use 75% less energy than incandescent, last 25 times longer and are less likely to cause a fire.
8. Don’t put a Christmas tree by a heating vent, fireplace or furnace. Check the Christmas lights for frayed or broken cords. According to the NFPA, one out of every 40 reported home fires involving a Christmas tree resulted in a death compared to one out of 142 reported home fires.
9. When the holiday is over, recycle your Christmas tree.