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Whether you’re planning a small Christmas party with only a few close friends, or a festive bash with extended family, you know that holiday parties require some serious preparation – from decorating the house to preparing food and drink.
But before you begin decking the halls, it’s important to ready your home for the incoming festivities, to protect yourself and all your guests. Avoid an unexpected home insurance claim this holiday season! Use our holiday home safety checklist to make sure your upcoming festivities are fun, festive, and safe.
Holiday Party: Home Safety Checklist
Sidewalk and Driveway
- Clear your sidewalk and driveway of ice and snow to prevent guests from slips and falls
- Sprinkle driveway salt on your driveway or walkway to make it easier for guests to come and go
- Make sure there is space in your driveway (or your street, if bylaws permit) for guests to park their vehicles
At the Door
- Use a towel or mop to clean puddles from the entrance-way left by visitors tracking snow and slush into your home
- Place an entrance rug by the door to avoid slippery floors
- Provide closet space and hangers for guests to remove and store their winter jackets
- Make sure your Christmas lights are approved by an accredited certification agency like the CSA Group
- Do not use outdoor lights indoors or vice versa
- Check for broken or burnt-out bulbs on string lights, replacing where necessary
- Be cautious with candles: although they may add the perfect holiday ambience, you should never leave candles burning unattended
- Keep candles away from Christmas trees, decorations, or other flammable objects
- Avoid overusing extension cords: if you’re using an extension cord during your holiday party, unplug and store it away after use.
- Avoid overloading power bars: never overload a single power bar with excessive appliances.
- If using a space heater to help keep your home warm, keep space heater safety in mind:
- Choose the right size space heater for the room that you will be heating, and one with tip-over and overheat protection
- Place your heater on a non-flammable, level surface
- Keep your heater 3 feet away from flammable surfaces
- Avoid plugging your space heater into an extension cord, as this may lead to overheating
- Avoid leaving your space heater unattended
In the Kitchen
- Protect yourself and your guests from cooking fires: Never leave your cooking unattended – turn off the stove before you leave the kitchen
- Keep flammable materials away from the burners
- Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen on hand and easily accessible
- Prepare your home for your littlest guests: clear away small objects, ornaments and decorations that could post a choking hazard to children.
- Keep medications out of the potential reach of curious children, out of sight and out of reach in medicine cabinets and locked drawers
- Put away cleaning products after you’ve finished washing and scrubbing in preparation for your party
- Pad any sharp-edged furniture, counters, windowsills, faucets or sinks
- Insert safety caps into unused electrical sockets
- Tape down loose electrical cords
Alarms and Security
- Check your smoke detectors to ensure that they’re in working order, replacing them if necessary
- Check your carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are functional
- Give your home security system a check-up
Slips and falls or kitchen fires have no place in your holiday party – this holiday season, be sure your festivities aren’t interrupted by some not-so-joyous events!
Taking some time before your guests arrive to properly prepare your home will help make your holiday party that much more merry – and safe.
These tips are provided for information and prevention purposes only. They are general in nature, and Desjardins Insurance cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.
In Quebec, Desjardins Insurance refers to Desjardins General Insurance Inc. In Ontario and Alberta, Desjardins Insurance refers to Certas Direct Insurance Company, underwriter of automobile and property insurance.