While the holidays are full of smiles, food and fun, there are Grinchy characters lurking all around. Since no one wants to spend holiday time on the phone with their homeowners insurance company, here are eight ways to protect your home during the holidays.
- Get a Timer: If you’re planning to travel, save on your electric bill and protect your home by using a timer for your holiday lights (both interior and exterior). Not only is this an efficient way of managing electricity, it also keeps would-be burglars at bay. You could even add a hallway or bedroom lamp to a timer for added emphasis. Look for a programmable timer so you can slightly alter the day-to-day lighting schedule.
- Make Nice with the Neighbors: Not that you haven’t already, but asking a neighbor to keep an eye on your home while you are away is a good idea. Also important is to see if they can take in your mail. Nothing screams “I am not home” more than a pile of mail on the door step. This goes for newspapers and deliveries too!
- Don’t be a Show-Off: If you got a new 65” TV, you may not want it propped up in front of the window for all to see. More importantly, don’t just stick the box of any sought-after item at the curb. Instead, break it down safely, making sure to fold it up in reverse so no one will know about your new toys.
- Follow Your Instincts: Although we love to be generous during the holiday season, there are some who use the holidays for nefarious means. Make sure to not let anyone suspicious into your home, even if they claim to be a delivery man or seeking charity. Ask for credentials before making any decisions, and even then, don’t feel bad about turning them away if you are unsure.
- Keep It Under Wraps: Believe it or not, many would-be burglars will look through your trash for evidence of gifts and good tidings. It might be a good idea to hold trash bags and all packaging in the garage as long as you can before putting them to the curb for pick up.
- Be Responsible: No one wants to have an accident during the holidays, so make sure you celebrate with moderation. This applies to you and your guests. That way, there will be no property damage or reason to exchange car insurance information with party guests.
- Take Stock: Lots of folks sit back and examine their lives at the end of the year. It is also a perfect time to take stock of what you have and what has changed in your home. Make sure you photograph or video record your important possessions and add them to your insurance policy. This is especially important for new items like jewelry, artwork, furs, cars, antiques, and other rare and valuable heirlooms.
- Remember to Breathe: Holidays can be stressful with lots to manage, remember, and look out for. We urge everyone to slow down, take a deep breath, and enjoy your loved ones. To help keep yourself grounded, it is a great time of year to reach out and give to those less fortunate than you.