The holiday season brings people together from near and far. Whether you are traveling or staying home, it is important to keep your home safe during the holidays. Here are some tips for home safety and security.

When You Are Planning on Being Away from Home

1. Don’t advertise your travel plans on the internet. Burglars and thieves troll social media looking for people who tell others about their vacations so they will know when a home is empty.

2. Tell a trusted neighbor or friend. It is a good idea to have someone keep an eye on your home while you are away. When someone stops by periodically the home won’t look empty and unguarded.

3. Put your lights on a timer. Having your lights turn on and off is one way to give the illusion that someone is inside. A home automation system is another option.

4. Make sure your home is locked up tight. A third of all home thefts happen because someone left a door or window unlocked. Every window and door should be locked and secured before you leave. Make sure the garage door is also locked.

5. Leave your window coverings as they normally are. Logic may say that you should close all your blinds and drapes. However, keeping your windows covered day and night is actually a sign that you may not be home, especially if it not your normal habit.

When You Are Going to Stay Home

6. Check Christmas lights for fraying. Over time, light strands can develop weak spots and start fraying which poses a risk of an electrical fire. If you find a frayed light strand, replace it with a brand-new one.

7. Hire a professional to check your furnace As the holidays approach, you want to keep your home warm and cozy. If you haven’t already had your furnace inspected, make an appointment for this service. The last thing you’ll want is for your heat to fail on a holiday when no HVAC professionals are working.

8. Buy a freshly cut Christmas tree. As a tree sits on a lot, it starts to dry out. A dry tree can pose a fire risk, so remember to water it regularly.

9. Frozen sidewalks can be a hazard for you and your guests. Be sure to keep salt and ice melt on hand to prevent ice from forming in the first place. Remove snow from the walkway as soon as it stops snowing.

No Matter What You Do

10. Check your smoke detectors to make sure they work and change the batteries at least once a year.

These tips will help you keep your home safe during the holidays whether you travel or not. Anchor Home Inspection wishes you a safe and happy holiday season.