There’s no mistaking it: the holiday season is upon us! With holiday decorations going up, family members in and out of the home, the coordination of travel schedules, the oven working overtime to bake tasty holiday cookies, and parties, programs, and celebrations, things can go haywire in the blink of an eye.

Within all of the festivities, however, lie hazards that can turn your holiday season into an unmitigated disaster. Some risks to the home and health are rather unique to the season. Whether you’re roasting a Christmas turkey, wrapping presents with scissors in hand, stringing lights on a rickety ladder, or having gifts delivered to your doorstep while you’re at work, hazards can present themselves at every turn. But that doesn’t mean you should cower away and wait until January! Just follow these simple safety tips for a happy, healthy holiday.

Flames = Danger

Fires are a danger any time of year, but especially during the holidays due to the extended use of furnaces, fireplaces, stovetops, appliances, and above all, Christmas decorations. Make sure to properly care for Christmas trees that may dry out and catch fire, as well as proper safety steps to cook and handle turkeys. When you’re finished roasting your chestnuts on an open fire, take proper precautions to ensure the fire is fully out before heading off to bed.

A Protect America home security system with monitored smoke alarm is a must-have item for catching a fire before it engulfs an entire house in flames, putting your family at risk. At the first sign of smoke, not only will an alarm sound, but the local fire department will be en route to your house instantly.

Pets = Potential Problems

Your neighborhood Christmas party with guests whooshing in and out of the home is an optimal time for your pet to make an escape. Pets get stressed, startled, anxious, or extra excitable with dozens of people entering your home.

Make sure to keep an eye on what your furry friends are eating during this busy time of the year. We’ve all seen a dog jump on the counter and make off with the turkey carcass, only to have an $1800 vet bill to have the jagged bones removed from her delicate innards. Christmas cookies and other baked goods look mighty tempting to your beloved hound as well, and dogs plus chocolate is a recipe for illness.

Decorations & Lights: Pretty but Precarious

Decorations can cause problems with some of the variables we mentioned above — pets, fires, kids — and holiday lights running for many hours each day can also raise an electricity bill to unsightly levels.

Pets and small children may be eager to play with holiday decorations and ornaments that are nestled on the Christmas tree, so be careful where you place poisonous holiday plants like poinsettias and breakable holiday decorations. Place the dangerous decorations in hard-to-reach locations to keep them safe. Placing such decor halfway up the tree is also a recipe for disaster; what happens when little Jane tries to stand on her tiptoes to reach the pretty ornament and knocks the tree over?

The popular Star Shower laser lights pointing at homes are pretty from a distance, but kids can damage their eyes looking directly into the lights. It should also go without saying that any sort of cord can get wrapped around a child or pet’s neck; be mindful where lights are strung and plugged in.

Most importantly, never overload an outlet! Too many plugs plugged into one outlet can send sparks flying and cause a fire.

Heart and Health Concerns

The holiday season is known to cause a spike in heart attack cases. Variables could include holiday stress, poor diet that comes with excess eating and binge drinking, cold holiday weather, and of course money, or lack thereof.

Accompanied with these variables, the holiday months are colder than usual and hospitals may be understaffed. Therefore it is important to stay on top of your diet and limiting stress during the holiday season. Though you want everything to go smoothly and efficiently, don’t allow the pace of the holiday season to get to you. Take time for yourself and try to get a normal amount of sleep and exercise. Remember, what’s most important is that you have the opportunity to share this precious time with your friends and family.

Keep Your Home Safe

The holiday season presents a greater opportunity for burglars to strike your home. With boxes left on the doorstep, presents under the tree, and holiday travels that could take you out of town for an extended time, burglars are scouring every neighborhood waiting for the right moment to strike.

Burglars love to scope out home hosting busy holiday parties. With people coming in and out of the home, burglars can easily blend in. Keep your garage doors shut, lock your car doors, and keep your home lit up when you’re away to give the illusion that you’re home. A home security system complete with HD video cameras and motion detectors are a great way to ensure a safe and happy home during the holiday season.

Here at Protect America, we have teamed up with Kiwanis to offer members a special $39.99 monthly rate which includes free shipping ($19.95 savings)! The exclusive offer from Protect America includes the following free equipment and features, a value of $1400!

  • 1 Simon XT control panel
  • 6 door/window sensors
  • 1 motion detector
  • 2 keychain remotes
  • Cellular connectivity
  • Home automation ready

Even with Protect America’s special Kiwanis offer, you may be interested in a free quote that is better tailored to your home’s needs. We offer three primary packages with varying levels of sophistication and equipment.