Home Safety Tips for the Holidays

The holiday season brings excitement and joy but can also bring about unforeseen safety hazards. With so much to be thankful for, we’d like you to consider these safety tips to protect your home this holiday season.

Inspect Electrical Decorations
Check all lights for visible damage such as cracked and damaged sockets or loose/bare wires and connections. Damaged lights can cause electrical shock or start a fire. If you are purchasing new lights, make sure they bear a certification symbol such as UL or CSA. Never connect more than three strings of lights together. When leaving the house or going to sleep, always unplug your holiday lights. A simple solution is to put your lights on a timer.

Take Proper Precautions with your Tree
Live trees need water or they will dry out, so always keep the stand full of water. Decorate your trees with flame resistant materials and place your tree away from heat sources such as fireplaces/radiators and do not block doorways. Remove your tree from your home once it is dried out as it may pose a serious fire hazard. If using an artificial tree, make sure it is flame retardant. Always keep fire extinguishers in your house and make sure your family knows how to operate them.

Use Extension Cords Appropriately
Before using, ensure extension cords are in good condition and properly rated for the products you plug in. Do not run extension cords through entranceways, behind curtains or under rugs. Make sure they are not pinched in any small spaces and do not install any cords using staples or nails. Discard of any extensions cords that become hot during usage. Extension cords can cause a fire if they become overheated.

Take Precaution with Electrical Outlets
If you have children or are entertaining this holiday, consider installing plastic outlet plugs to prevent children from sticking objects into the outlet. Take it a step further and install tamper resistant plugs that only accept a standard plug. Never plug more than two appliances into the same outlet. If using a power strip, purchase ones that are equipped with internal overload protection. These power strips will automatically shut off it they become overloaded. If there is one area that you seem to always need more extension cord or power strips, hire an electrician to install additional outlets.

Use Common Sense
You might observe some issues in your household including flickering lights, breakers that trip, sparks from outlets, etc. If these issues persist there could be an issue with your home’s electrical wiring and you should promptly call an electrician to inspect your home. Deep frying a turkey? Read the instructions and use the deep fryer OUTSIDE of your house.

Check Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
You should check these detectors every month to ensure proper operation. Most detectors should have batteries changed twice a year. If your detectors are more than 10 years old you should replace them.

Install a Security Alarm or Surveillance Cameras
If you really want to make sure you’re keeping your home safe this holiday season install an alarm or surveillance camera. Audio Junkies can install a security camera that you can access from your mobile device anywhere, anytime.

Be on the Lookout
There is an increase in home thefts every holiday season. Make sure you secure your home, cars and trucks. DO NOT post about leaving your home for vacation or the high priced gifts you have received on social media. If you are going on vacation, post your pics once you return and have a neighbor checking on your home. When disposing of the box for your brand new flat screen television and other high-priced goods, break down the box as best you can or place directly in a dumpster. Displaying these boxes on trash day can be an easy target for burglars.

Doing a lot of online shopping? Packages left at the front door are easy targets for theft. Choose to have your packages delivered with a required signature confirmation. Be alert and suspicious of any strangers in the neighborhood or at your door. Alert home owners if you see any tampering of surveillance cameras. Leave outside house lights on so it appears someone is home.

If you have any questions about how you can protect your electronic equipment from overheating or voltage spikes, please feel free to give us a call at 732-239-2295. If you are concerned about theft this holiday season, Audio Junkies can give you a free estimate for security cameras. Also, be sure to give us a ring if you need help installing the new electronics and tech gadgets Santa brings you!

Have a happy, healthy and SAFE Holiday season