Christmas is just a few days away and many people are preparing to host family and friends for dinner and entertaining. You’ve got the tree decorated, the lights hung and now it’s time to start thinking about preparing food. Along with the holidays comes an increased risk of fires, injury and more. Your Lake of the Ozarks insurance agent wants to help you stay safe this holiday season by warning about a few common dangers.
Did you opt for a real Christmas tree this year? While they may be pretty and smell delightful, they increase the risk of a house fire. (Be aware that artificial trees can catch fire as well.) From 2010-2014, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 210 home structure fires per year that began with Christmas trees. Avoid a Christmas tree fire this holiday season by watering your tree regularly. In addition, be sure to keep your tree at least 3 feet away from candles, fireplaces, space heaters and other possible "fire starters" / heat sources.
2. Leaving Your House Unlocked.
While it may seem obvious to keep your house locked, it's especially important during the holidays. You may have guests arriving that don't have a house key, so you leave it open for them. This can increase your risk of burglary and theft. Don't leave anything valuable in plain sight, especially a place that's visible from the windows. Keep in mind that the first place an intruder will look for valuables is the master bedroom. In addition, be sure to set a security alarm if you have one, and leave some lights on while you're away to make it seem like someone is home.
The holiday season is one of the worst times of year for identity theft. You're trying to quickly get all your shopping done and you might not be as cautious as you normally would. Approximately 7% of all United States adults have their personal identities stolen or otherwise misused and the average financial loss per person is around $3,500. Pay attention to how you carry your wallet or purse to avoid it being stolen. When shopping online, be cautious that you're entering your credit card number on secured websites only. (If you have cyber security insurance, that's great!) Make sure you have strong passwords and keep your antivirus software up-to-date. Be sure to check your bank and credit card statements regularly for any discrepancies and also shred any mail with sensitive information before throwing it away.
4. Not Being Cautious in the Kitchen.
The holidays just wouldn't be the same without the delicious food and extravagant feasts. Along with all that food comes an increased risk of food-borne illnesses. Reduce your risk of food poisoning this holiday season by washing your hands frequently when handling food. Be sure to refrigerate food within 2 hours; don't leave it sitting out all day for people to munch on. When it comes to preparing meat, do not rinse raw meat or poultry before cooking, and use a food thermometer to ensure the meat reaches the proper temperature. When reheating sauces, soups and gravies, bring them to a rolling boil. In addition, be careful to keep flammable items away from stove tops and never leave cooking food unattended. Like Christmas tree fires, kitchen fires are also a common hazard during the holiday season.
Happy Holidays from the best insurance company at the Lake of the Ozarks! For all your insurance needs, you can trust Insure the Lake! We've got you covered with everything from homeowners insurance to life insurance. To get a free quote and find out how we might be able to save you money on your monthly premiums, give us a call at 573-348-2794.
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About the Author: Steve is a double back-flip insurance ninja. He was named Young Insurance Agent of the Year by the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents in 2010 and is a Certified Insurance Counselor. When he is not helping customers, he enjoys community service, Latin dancing with his beautiful wife and going on adventures with his two awesome sons.
Steve Naught, CIC
3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral
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