Insurance Tips for the Holidays

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*Note To Self...Don’t Burn Down The House During The Holiday

While the winter holiday season is the perfect interval to spend time with family or loved ones, it also usually involves some degree of stress. You might have tons of gifts left to purchase, relatives to host, and parties to throw–without missing all those you’re expected to attend. In short, there are a bunch of things on your mind.

Because of these additional stressors, it can be harder to keep your wits about you, pay close attention to the basics, and keep from doing something, well…absent-minded and costly. But we know you can do it!

Here are a few tips from us to help you have a safe and enjoyable holiday, based on events we have actually seen happen to some of our clients:

  1. If you cook with a smoker, don’t use it inside your house or in your garage. Yes, this actually happened to one of our clients. No, they didn’t intend to burn more than the bacon. While smokers typically generate less heat than other kinds of cooking devices, they are still operating at hundreds of degrees. It’s always important to remember to keep these outside. Always.
  2. If you do happen to have a fire, specifically a grease fire that you might have from—oh, who knows, perhaps using a smoker in your house or garage—don’t put out a grease fire by splashing it with water. It will just spread. Fast. A better idea is to have a fire extinguisher handy. One for that smoker you’ll keep outside from now on and another inside near cooking surfaces.
  3. Candles provide great indoor ambiance. If you like to light candles in your house during the holiday, make a checklist of each one you light so that you can make sure you put out each one on the list, everytime. Especially when hosting a party, it can be hard to remember each and every candle to put out as the night wears on. This is beeswax you definitely should mind.
  4. If you are keen to use a fireplace in your home, make sure the chimney has been serviced prior to the winter months. The National Fire Protection Association recommends that “chimneys, fireplaces, and vents should be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs should be done if necessary.” It can be a hassle to get an inspection scheduled, but it is critical to know if the chimney liner is cracked or if creosote buildup has taken hold. There’s no Santa without a functioning chimney, so always remember December as a logical year-end time for annual maintenance so you don’t get stuck by your stack.

Regardless, if something does go wrong, take reasonable steps to quickly and thoroughly problem-solve, but ultimately make sure people are free from danger—and call 911 if the situation is out of your control.

Before things get hot, you should call your home insurance agent to help you know what you should do next, so reach out to connect as soon as you can. As always, Covered is here for you too. Stay safe and have fun this holiday. Forewarned is forearmed!