With Christmas just around the corner we can all get excited for all the wonderful things that go along with it. From stockings to candy canes, family and friends there is much to look forward to this season. It truly is a wonderful time of year, full of giving, love and kindness. Hopefully you are not like me, waiting until the last minute to get all your presents - but either way there are a few things you should know about insurance and Christmas.
Your beautiful Christmas Tree: Whether you decide to put up a traditional tree or an artificial tree to place your thoughtful gifts under, fires can occur from a few different sources on your tree. The lights can get hot at times, which when touching the tree can cause it to ignite. The lights can also short out, causing a bulb to spark and ignite the tree on fire. Now might be the perfect time to replace those old bulbs with energy efficient light strings. Young curious pets shouldn't be left unattended near the tree as we all know how much trouble they can get into such as chewing the lights or knocking over ornaments. Please take the time to check the lights, not only on your tree, but also on the rest of your home. Your tree should be stable so it doesn't fall over and injure someone as we all know children love to run and play during the holidays. And although the tree always looks quite lovely by the fireplace, you should make sure it is far enough away where embers won't ignite it. Keeping your tree watered also will help it from becoming too dry, and looking beautiful on Christmas day surrounded by your family.
The lovely outdoor lights: Although the lights are a welcome addition when decorating your home please be sure to check them over before installing them. Ensure there are no exposed wires or broken bulbs. When putting them up be careful not to put a staple through any of the wiring. Turn off the lights during the day to save electricity - you can also use automated timers so you don't forget! And be careful where you put the extension cords - they should be tied up securely so no one trips and falls over them. If the lights are outside please use a proper outdoor cord that is meant to handle the elements. If you hire anyone to put up your lights check to make sure they have insurance.
Walkway & Driveway: With all the lights and decorations the walkway leading to your house looks spectacular. You've really outdone yourself this year, and want to have family over to share some holiday cheer. Be sure to keep walkways clear of any snow and ice, using salt and gravel if any ice does appear.
Driving: We all want to enjoy the holidays safely, so please do not be tempted to drink and drive. There are many alternatives such as a a designated driver, staying at your family or friends house, taxi, Uber or services that will even drive your car home safely. A few dollars is a small price to pay for peace of mind getting home safely and not injuring others. Remember there is no rush to get anywhere - your family would much rather you be a few minutes late then not arriving at all.
Basic Housekeeping: Now is a good time of year to check your fire and C02 detectors. Replace the batteries if needed. Check your furnace filter. If you have a chimney make sure it is clean for Santa to come down. If you have any candles keep them out of the reach of children, and make sure they are in a place where they can't be easily knocked over, away from the tree and other flammables. Candles should be blown out before you go to bed.
Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season from everyone at James Insurance!