Surely you wouldn’t want Santa’s big night to end at your place because he slipped on the ice getting out of his sleigh? Here are a few reminders of things to do to make sure your home is safe for everyone, famous or not!

1-Christmas trees and decorations

Love the smell of a natural tree? Don’t buy it too early and make sure the base always stays moist. Ideally, natural trees shouldn’t be kept indoors for more than two weeks because the more they dry out, the more flammable they become.

Lights are very pretty, especially when there are lots of them! To prevent the risk of fire, opt for those that are CSA- or ULC-approved, and don’t use indoor and outdoor lights interchangeably. It’s also best to turn everything off before going to bed or leaving the house.

2-A safe place for everyone

Outside, don’t let your driveway become an ice rink. Someone could slip and be seriously injured—is your home insurance liability amount high enough? Reduce the risk of accidents by using de-icers or other slip-resistant materials. Don’t forget lighting, it’s not just for the tree!

Inside, think of young children who will be visiting during the Holidays. You may have forgotten because your kids are older, but littler ones get into everything! Keep all dangerous objects and products out of their reach or restrict access to certain rooms. Also, think of your pets, which could choke on decorations or packaging, or be poisoned by plants such as mistletoe and holly.

3-Keep fire in the fireplace!

Densified wood logs are very popular for adding to the festive spirit because they give off a nice warmth and burn for a long time. But be careful not to overheat your unit. Never use more than three logs at a time and don’t burn wrapping paper; the ink can be toxic. Faulty units can create more pollution and be a fire hazard.

What’s more, before hosting a large number of people at your home, it’s always good to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors (test the batteries if this wasn’t done at the last change of season) as well as your fire extinguishers. You never know!

4-In case of a power outage

Midwinter thaws are possible and even become more common in December and January. What if an ice storm left your home in the dark and without heat while your brother was visiting with his three children? Making do with what you have is fine, but you also have to make sure everyone is safe. Take caution when using standby systems.

5-Protect your gifts

Your car may not be the best hiding place for your gifts! Whether at home or on the road, don’t leave your packages in plain view. It’s best to put them in the trunk or use a cargo cover.

Also, if you receive any high-value gifts, be sure to take a picture of them and add them to your property inventory. You should also notify your insurance company for items such as jewelry, a bicycle, artwork or collectible items, for example.

6-Going away?

Whether you’re visiting grandma in Ontario or soaking up the sun in Florida, the Holidays are an ideal time to travel, and thieves know it! Cover your tracks: simple gestures can fool wrongdoers into thinking someone’s home. Take a look at our checklist for home security.