The holiday season is a time for celebration and giving gifts to family and friends, but it is also a time when safety takes a back seat due to the rush and excitement of the season. People become careless and vulnerable to theft and holiday scams.
The Silicon Valley Association of Realtors offers the following information to keep homes and homeowners safe and secure during the holiday season.
To protect against seasonal fire hazards:
• Don’t overload wall outlets and extension cords.
• If you have a live Christmas tree, cut 2 inches off the trunk and mount the tree on a sturdy stand. Keep the tree well supplied with water and away from candles or a fireplace.
To tailor security measures to the season:
• Keep the outside of your home well lit. When you leave your home, place your inside lights on timers to make it appear occupied.
• Always lock the front door.
• Be aware that criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts.
• Don’t place gifts under the Christmas tree where burglars can see them. Place a blanket over the presents so that they aren’t in full view of a window.
• After the holidays, don’t advertise your gifts by leaving the boxes at the curb for garbage collection. Take the big boxes to the recycling center.
• Many people are in the giving mood during the holidays and will donate money to charities. Don’t become a victim of bogus holiday charity scams. When someone knocks on your door, always be wary of appeals that are long on emotion. Do not give your personal information to strangers.
Following are some holiday gift suggestions that can keep your friends and family safe year-round.
• Smoke alarms
• Carbon-monoxide detectors
• Fire extinguishers
• Escape ladders
• First aid kit
• Earthquake kit
• Automobile safety kit
• Portable radios