The holidays are finally upon us, which means New England homeowners will be out decking the halls for the season. With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it can be easy to forget the insurance risks involved with decorating and entertaining guests. Here are some holiday home safety tips that are sure to keep your spirits festive this season!
- Keep an eye on your kitchen. Cooking is the leading cause of home fires year-round, especially during the holiday season. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), December and February are peak times for home fires. Never leave the kitchen when preparing food on the stove top, in the oven, or in the microwave.
- Avoid fire hazards. Never leave candles unattended, and keep all open flames away from decorations, trees, and other flammable household items. Use lights that have been tested for their safety, such as products that are certified by UL, CSA or ETL. Also, keep in mind that LED lights tend to stay cooler, use less energy, and last longer. Be sure to water live trees so they don’t dry out.
- Watch what food you serve. Even if the food is prepared by a caterer, you could still be found liable if a guest becomes ill from consuming food on your property. If food looks under cooked, spoiled, or contaminated, throw it out.
- Watch how much others drink. If there is going to be alcohol at your gathering, make sure non-alcoholic beverages are provided as well. In the event a guest drives home drunk and causes damages, you could be found liable for serving that guest.
- Decorate safely. Purchase decorations from a trusted retailer, and consider decorations that are non-flammable or flame-retardant. Inspect all electronic decorations before use for any damages. Turn off and unplug all lights and decorations before leaving your home or office, or going to bed.
- Consider purchasing an umbrella policy. You can’t eliminate all risks, but you can plan ahead. When your regular policy can’t protect you, investing in a personal umbrella policy can help protect against the unexpected.
Review your policy with an independent agent to ensure your home insurance provides adequate protection for holiday mishaps. Contact McGrath Insurance Group at 800-342-3859 or visit our website at www.mcgrathinsurance.com.
*This article is written for informational purposes only and should not be construed as providing legal advice.