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Holiday Home Safety

Written by Carla Hill on Monday, 19 November 2012 6:00 pm
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The holiday season should be a time to celebrate family and friends. We travel across town and state in order to be near to those we hold dear. This joyous season, however, is also a time to take extra care. Inclement weather and other pitfalls can put a real damper on this year's celebration.

Here are a few things to keep an eye on this season.

It can be tempting to post our future plans on social media site. "Can't wait to go to Grandma's tonight for some of her famous apple pie." "We just arrived at our hotel. I can't believe we have two weeks of ocean views!"

We want to share our excitement about upcoming vacation and trips! Safety experts, however, recommend against this type of sharing.

Sharing travel plans can open yourself and your home up to burglary. Thieves can take advantage of this green light. Do you trust all those on your "friends" list? This may be, but friends of friends may be less than savory characters.

It can be hard to resist posting about the fun you are having, but save the photos, tweets, and status updates for when you return. If you simply must post about your vacation, try and keep posts vague, keeping the reader guessing if you're out of town or not!

Is it time for you to invest in a security system? There are many products on the market today that can help homeowners have a little piece of mind while traveling. If the budget allows, you could have a professional alarm monitoring system installed. Tighter budgets might mean getting creative. Many homeowners are finding they can set up their own camera system to monitor remotely.

You could also employ the help of "at home for the break" college students to housesit. Many students love the opportunity for some quiet R&R all while making an extra buck.

As a final measure be sure to tell a trusted neighbor about your plans to be gone. They can help keep an eye on your place and will know when that moving van shouldn't be parked in your driveway!

Home safety goes beyond protecting your belongings, though. It also means safeguarding your health. The holiday season means beautiful lights and decorations, but it can also mean fire and shock risks.

Christmas lights are festive and charming, but caution must be taken. Always take your time when standing on ladders or navigating roofs. Thousands of homeowners (around 12,500 to be exact) are treated in hospitals each year due to light installation injuries!

Also, take care not to overload outlets with excessive lights. This is a sure-fire way to cause a fire, or at least fry a circuit. Thoroughly inspect all extension cords and light strands for fraying, which can also be a fire hazard.

Finally, take care to prevent ice and slipping hazards. Keep a bag of salt or sand on hand for icy steps and patios. Utilize rugs on entryways where water can make tile slippery. Install motion sensor lights to help guests navigate their way safety to sidewalks and front doors.

The holiday is a fun time! Just be sure you're still singing a merry tune when the season is through!

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Individual news stories are based upon the opinions of the writer and does not reflect the opinion of Realty Times.