This is a busy season. While we’re all running around buying extra food and gifts for our friends and families, we sometimes forget to take extra precautions to keep our homes safe through the holidays. Assure yourself a safe and hazard-free holiday season by following these important safety tips!

Take care in the kitchen!

According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), the winter months are the leading time of year for house fires. Prevent fires in your home by taking extra care this winter. In the kitchen, make sure that you never leave the food you’re cooking unattended. Also, keep your exhaust fan on above your stove while preparing food to vent any steam, smoke, or gas produced to the outdoors.

Keep clutter away from your heating systems.

Don’t store things near your furnace, especially combustible items like propane, gasoline, chemicals, paint, or anything flammable. Keep clutter away you’re your water heater and fireplace as well. Allow at least two feet of space around your heating system. Don’t block vents with furniture or clutter either. Keep all vents open throughout the home to allow your heating system to function efficiently and to avoid damaging it.

Be careful with candles and space heaters.

Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year’s Day are the top three days of the year for candle fires. Avoid fire hazards in the home by keeping your candles out of reach from children. Don’t place them near anything flammable, such as curtains or holiday decorations. Blow all candles out before you leave a room or go to bed at night. Try to use both space heaters and candles sparingly when you have additional people in the home to avoid accidents.

Be sure to lock up the house!

More burglaries happen around Christmas time than during any other time throughout the entire year! Make sure you lock all doors and windows at night or when you leave your home during the day. Install a home security system if you don’t already have one. Learn about home automation and what it can do for you by contacting Cyclone Contracting today! If you plan to travel over the holidays, have a friend keep an eye on your home while you’re away and don’t discuss your traveling plans with strangers (including posting about it online). Don’t keep your spare key outside!

Don’t forget about your lights!

Inspect all Christmas lights before setting them up. Make sure there aren’t any with frayed cords, loose connections, or broken sockets. Replace bulbs if necessary, assuring the voltage and wattage match the original. Turn off holiday lights while away from the house and before you go to bed at night. It’s easy to leave the lights on at night, and it seems harmless, but if a light shorts out, it could start a fire.

Make sure your fireplace is safe.

Don’t use it if the front glass panel is cracked or broken. This could allow sparks to jump out and catch something on fire if you have a traditional wood-burning fireplace. If you have a gas fireplace, harmful gases could escape into the home. Fix or replace your fireplace before using it. Your fireplace and chimney should also be cleaned and inspected at least once every year.

Avoid a plumbing emergency in the bathroom.

It’s likely that you’ll have a few extra people running around the house at some point throughout the season. A few things you can do to prepare your bathroom and to avoid a plumbing emergency include the following:

Keep a plunger in every bathroom.

Make sure the trash can in the bathroom is clearly visible so visitors won’t be tempted to flush things that aren’t supposed to be flushed.

Know where you toilet shutoff valve is located and how to operate it if necessary.

Always be prepared.

Even though you might think that an emergency situation would never happen to you (and it probably won’t), nonetheless, you should be prepared at all times to handle anything that may arise.

-Have your emergency plumber’s phone number posted visibly, such as on the refrigerator, throughout the holidays. Cyclone Contracting offers customers a Universal Savings Agreement, and members will receive a 10% discount and never incur after-hours fees!

-Make sure you know exactly where the main water supply valve is in your home.

-Make sure that all of your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in proper working order and located in all necessary areas of the home.