Avoid home damage and potential insurance claims with these 5 tips to keep your home safe
Household insurance claims are on the rise during the holiday season, pointing out the fact that hazard, safety and security risks escalate at this time of year. “Fire claims alone rise an average of 15% during the holiday season,” said Eddy Lang, Housefax CEO and insurance industry veteran. “Allstate just conducted a study that shows how holiday pressures, changes activities, behaviors and routines can leave homeowners vulnerable, and homebuyers more wary of what insurance claims may have been made in a home’s past.”
Housefax will soon include insurance claim histories with each Property History Report, which can reveal past damage such as turkey fryer and Christmas tree fires, or security break-ins and arson – candles, in fact, are the most common cause of holiday fires with an average claim amount of $50,000. Theft goes up with so many people traveling, and sewer backup claims increase as people host multiple guests during holiday parties. “Homeowners who want to sell their homes as smoothly as possible, and at the best price in the future, can take steps to avoid these hazards,” said Lang. Allstate suggests some tips to keep your home safe during the holidays:
- Holiday cooking. Before the holidays, install new batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure that family members can locate and operate fire extinguishers. Test all fire prevention devices to make sure they function properly.
- Be careful in the kitchen. The incorrect disposal of cooking grease, overuse of garbage disposals and improper or excessive disposal of waste can result in clogged drains and can cause sewer problems during this time of year.
- Holiday decorating. Never leave burning candles unattended, and always place them out of reach of children. Make it a part of your routine to check that all candles are extinguished before you go to bed each night.
- Make a smart tree purchase. If buying a natural tree, make sure it’s fresh so it will be less of a fire hazard. Artificial trees should be labeled as fire resistant. Keep your tree away from heat sources, and trim trees with flame-resistant materials. Never use lit candles to decorate trees.
- Check your holiday lights. Throw away any that are broken and don’t overload the outlets. Only lights and extension cords specified for outdoor use should be used outside.
Though the report concludes that claims do increase this time of year, the good news is there are many simple precautions families can take to celebrate in safety. For more tips and information, visit www.allstate.com.