Holidays are about spending quality time with loved ones, relaxing, and catching up. However, this season can lead to many unexpected disasters, especially if you’re away from home. Natural disasters are unavoidable, but others are caused by not being cautious enough, from kitchen fires to candle fires, pipe bursts, and fireworks disasters. Holidays are especially susceptible to these disasters since it’s a playful time for children and a ‘let loose’ phase for adults. In addition, several people are always in the house during these times. It means there’s a higher chance of something chaotic occurring.
It’s, therefore, essential to have disaster precautions amid such buzzing activities. Keep your holiday traditions running, but ensure you’re safe by following the precautions below:
1. Ensure Your Pipes Are Well Maintained
Faulty pipes bursting can cause flooding and extensive water damage in your home. With many people at home, the plumbing system may overwork and clog, leading to a terrible burst. During cold winters, water could solidify within the pipes. Ice, being more voluminous than water, could burst the pipes. Therefore, weatherproofing your plumbing is essential.
Weatherproofing typically entails insulating the pipes to prevent ice formation. Also, set your thermostat to 65 degrees or slightly higher before you go out to keep the lines from freezing and eventually bursting.
2. Don’t Let The Christmas Trees Dry Out
A Christmas tree is a must-have decor during the holiday. Many people use real trees; the livelier, the merrier. However, in such cases, strictly ensure that you water your trees daily before they dry out. Allowing them to dry can be very risky. Dry branches and leaves easily catch fire and could be a source of one big disaster during Christmas.
On top of that, avoid plugging too many string lights at once, as it can be dangerous. Crisscrossing cables can cause a short circuit if the insulating sheath gets damaged, exposing live wires. Additionally, remove broken or nonfunctional string lights from the tree. Finally, ensure your Christmas tree is always far enough from heat sources.
3. Always Inspect Your Chimney
Fireplaces heat the room during holidays and are perfect for chatting and catch-ups. In this case, a wood fireplace should always be checked and cleaned before lighting it again. If anything gets stuck up the chimney during hot seasons, smoke and carbon monoxide flow back into the house instead of going out. It may cause suffocation or even death in extreme cases.
Another chimney risk is creosote, a highly flammable substance when it piles up in the chimney. It can start chimney fires, burning down your place. Finally, before retiring to bed, put off the fire completely. Leaving the fire burning while you sleep is risky, as sparks can fly to flammable materials and start a fire.
4. Keep Candles On Check
Holidays, especially Christmas, are mostly known for candle-lit decorations. The lovely and warm glow of candles brings such a cozy feeling to the room. However, one unattended candle could cause a massive fire disaster and ruin your festivities.
It’s, therefore, essential to be extra cautious and safely burn the candles. Constantly check all the areas where you keep candles. It’s best to place them on a safe, non-flammable surface. Also, remove anything around the candles that could easily catch fire. Finally, keep your guests and kids in check to ensure they don’t accidentally bump into candles or get their clothes on fire.
5. Be Extra Cautious When Cooking And Baking
What’s a holiday without a feast? The kitchen buzzes with cooking, from baking cakes and pies to deep frying chicken and grilling meat. It’s, therefore, essential to be very cautious around the kitchen.
Ensure you turn off the oven and all other cooking apparatus when you no longer use them. Additionally, don’t place any flammable material or kitchen towels close to the fire. And before leaving your home for the holidays, cross-check that you’ve switched off all the cooking and electrical appliances.
6. Safeguard Your Home From Burglars
With many people leaving their homes during the holidays, burglars take the opportunity to break in and steal precious possessions. It’d be good to upgrade your security system. One option is to install smart lights that you can control remotely to give the impression that you’re at home.
Also, avoid leaving expensive items in the open. You’d better lock them in safes where burglars can’t easily see them. Children should also play in open areas. Restrict them from hidden or dark places. Finally, avoid leaving children home alone; they may be helpless when a thief storms the house.
Holidays should be all about fun, relaxation, and bonding. The last thing you’d want is an emergency call regarding a disaster in your home. It ruins your holiday mood and can lead to massive losses.
But with heightened activities during the holidays, there’s always a greater risk of all sorts of disasters. Take the necessary precautions by maintaining your plumbing, inspecting your chimneys, and being extra careful with cooking appliances and other heat sources. All these precautions will reduce the chances of disasters at home.