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Renter tips for a safe holiday season

Renter tips for a safe holiday season

As holiday cheer start reaching fever pitch, everybody’s in a hurry to get their hands on the best holiday gifts and nail down the last details of their holiday celebration. But lost sleep and stress can contribute to careless behavior, which, paired with all the holiday paraphernalia, like candles, tinsel, lights and fir trees can spell disaster for your apartment.

While Resident Shield has your back in case of fires and other disasters, such as theft and accidental injuries of guests, it’s always easier to avoid them altogether. Below are a few things to watch out for during this holiday season:

Candles are a ubiquitous decorative element this time of the year. Be extra vigilant during the holidays. Many decorations are manufactured from highly flammable materials, such as paper, wood or plastic blends. Holiday get-togethers can get quite boisterous. Families get together, children chase the pets and the adults might have one too cups of eggnog. With all the hubbub, candles can easily be knocked over. You might not even notice the accident, until it actually becomes a threat. To avoid such a situation, consider replacing them with electric candles. If you can’t fathom such a notion, make sure all candles have stable bases, are out of the reach of children, curious pets and careless adults.

Fir trees. Present in millions of homes throughout the countries, this holiday staple is as dangerous as it is pretty. Not only are firs highly flammable, they have a low ignition point. Make sure you don’t place any candles near Christmas trees, nor do you strew heat-emitting lights on them. The same goes for fake Christmas trees.

Lights. Twinkly, sparkly, flashy – whatever your preference, make sure you buy your Christmas lights from reputable retailers. Before installing, test whether they function properly.

Deck the halls with boughs of holly, Fa la la la la, la la la la – but make sure those boughs of holly or any other plants you bring into your home aren’t poisonous for your pets.

If you’re lucky enough to boast a fireplace in you apartment, color us jealous. While nothing sounds more divine than cozying up to crackling hearth with a cup of mulled wine, make sure you had the chimney swept beforehand  and that both your fire and carbon monoxide alarms are working properly.

Unfortunately thefts and break-ins are quite common during this time of year. As tired as you might be when all your guests leave, check that all windows and doors are locked. Avoid putting expensive presents in a highly visible place (such as windowsills).  Moreover, if you bought or received big-ticket items with lofty packaging, such as HD TVs, laptops, home cinema systems and the like, dispose of their packaging in a discreet way. Don’t just leave the box outside your door, thinking you’ll take it down to the recycling center later. You’re basically advertising to those up to no good.

Also, to be on the safe side, document any new purchases or presents and add them to your insurance policy. Should the worst happen, you’ll at least be reimbursed for your stolen or damaged goods.