By: Blake Wimsey
Special to Guthrie News Page
Blake Wimsey operates Foundation Insurance in downtown Guthrie.
Holiday Season Insurance Tips
With Christmas rapidly approaching, everyone’s lifestyle is surely changing over the next month. Between decorating your Christmas tree, hanging lights and cooking extra food, we can become so busy that we miss things that put your home at an increased risk. Here are some friendly holiday tips to keep you safe throughout December.
Christmas Tree Safety
If you elect to purchase a real tree for Christmas, this can cause increased risk for fire, as the needles and branches can easily dry out. Be sure to place the tree away from any fireplaces or candles. Also, be sure to set the base of the tree in a small amount of water and check the water level often. This will help keep the tree from drying out.
Christmas Lights & Decorations
If you go all out for Christmas with lights and yard decorations, be sure you don’t overload any power outlets. Most decorations will come with directions from the manufacturer on how many can be plugged into one single power source. Be sure to follow these instructions carefully, as your house may soon light up in an unintended way if they overheat.
There’s nothing better than watching a Christmas movie with your family, with a decorated tree and burning fireplace in view. Be sure to never go to sleep with the fire still burning. Also, never burn wrapping paper or any trash in your fireplace as these materials may cause hot embers that could come out into you home and cause a fire. They may also clog your chimney and expose your family to chemical gases inside the home.
Having family and friends over for the holidays can be great. If you’re serving alcohol to guests at your home, be conscious of the amount everyone has had to drink. If someone leaves your home after being overserved and causes and accident, you could potentially be held liable in court. Offer a rideshare service like Uber for anyone you’re concerned about driving home, or you could potentially prepare a spare bedroom in advance for this situation. If you have guests who smoke, provide ashtrays outside in advance so they aren’t tempted to throw their cigarettes in your dry grass.
Always be conscious of your kitchen if you’re cooking while guests are over. Never leave anything cooking on the stove to attend to your guests, and be sure to set the timer on your oven. Never go to bed without double checking that everything in your kitchen has been shut down. Be sure to put leftovers in the fridge as soon as possible. Leaving these dishes out can allow harmful bacteria to manifest itself while at room temperature. If you do accidentally leave a dish out overnight, do not risk eating it and immediately throw it away the next morning.