This time of year is full of events, gatherings, food, family and friends. You are running from the mall, to the next turkey dinner, to work, back home and then to another get-together. This season is packed with shopping, decorating and christmas events. It is exciting and busy, and some people love it, while others don’t, but regardless, there are things you will do, or need to do, and we want to make sure you have your bases covered.
First of all, the decorations. Some people go all “Griswold-like,” and decorate like mad men. Others don’t, but they will put up a tree and a few lights. Either way, it is important to take some precautions before you start.
- Do not overload your power circuits / breakers and remember to use 3-wire ground extension cords outside. Contact an electrician if you are unsure about your capacity.
- Inspect the lights beforehand, not only so you know they’ll work, but to make sure there aren’t any damaged bulbs or wires showing that could cause potential shocks, sparks or fires.
- If you can, use LED lights as they burn cooler, which will help reduce the chance of overheating and causing a fire.
- Never leave your tree on when you leave the house.
- If you are using a real tree, make sure you keep it watered, so it doesn’t dry up.
Next concern, why don’t thieves ever seem to take time off around Christmas? In fact, it seems like they are more busy this time of year. Naturally, it is because people fill their houses with toys and gadgets all in one convenient place – under their tree. Many shop in large quantities, so if you leave your vehicle, you are leaving many new possessions inside of it. Some tips to avoid potential issues include:
- Don’t leave a message on your voicemail that you are “Gone to a wedding in Jamaica, be back in 2 weeks.” This is an easy opportunity for burglars to access your house while you’re away.
- Leaving a key in the flower pot or under the doormat. This isn’t the burglars first rodeo and they likely have some experience checking these convenient places.
- Make sure your windows and doors are locked while you are away.
- Installing a security system is always a good way to deter unwanted traffic. This also benefits you by giving you a discount on your home insurance.
- Be careful when you purchase gifts online from stores you are unfamiliar with. Quickly do a google search to check out some reviews beforehand. Check your credit card to make sure you have fraud protection.
- Buying gifts when the prices have dropped significantly. This can result in fake items, or the sale of much older models that they have had for many years.
- Keep your wallet and purses well protected while walking in crowded stores and malls.
- Park your vehicle in a busy, well lit location so your belongings are safe in your vehicle while you continue to shop. Make sure you keep your purchases out of sight.
- Most home insurance policies include identity theft coverage, so if your wallet or purse goes missing and this becomes an issue – check your policy to see if you have this coverage to protect yourself.
- Theft coverage on belongings, again, most home insurance policies will include theft of your belongings, check to make sure your policy has this coverage. Some items, like jewellery have a cap on the value of coverage when it results from theft, so if you have high-end jewellery or lots of it, make sure you talk to your broker about making sure it is properly protected.
- If you have a copy of your policy, you can check your coverage by matching your policy coverage in your companies wording booklet. We have them available on our website for your convenience.
We want to wish you all a Merry Christmas, full of love, joy and laughter; and a Happy New year.