Experts say: “Put a freeze on winter fires”


Home fires can happen any time of the year, but there are special risks over the holidays. Two very common activities that are popular at the holidays are often the source of fires: Holiday decorating and holiday cooking. For example, the top three days of the year for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve. The National Fire Protection Association and the United States Fire Administration urge people to Put a freeze on winter fires. In this post, we focus on holiday fore prevention. We’ve included a video and infographic from the “Put a freeze…” campaign, as well as holiday decorating tips that they suggest.

Decorating for the holidays

  • Only use decorations that are flame-retardant or not flammable.
  • Check holiday lights each year for frayed wires or excessive wear.
  • Don’t link more than three strands of holiday lights.
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended. Consider using battery-operated flameless candles.

Christmas tree safety

  • Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
  • Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2” from the base of the trunk.
  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
  • Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.
  • Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going
  • Get rid of the tree after Christmas or when it is dry.
  • Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home.
  • Check with your local community to find a recycling program.
  • Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer

Animals enjoying Christmas


Just for the holidays, we bring you an array of videos of animals enjoying Christmas. And if you don’t get your fill here, try our Cats & Dogs of Christmas 2015.

First up – Internet favorite pooch Maymo is surprised by a puppy for Christmas

How to protect your tree

Gift wrapping tips

Not many people know it, but Santa often makes the rounds to the world’s zoos before he visits children. Here  are a few of his early stops.

‘Tis the season


Portrait of Santa Claus carrying huge red sack with presents

 

It’s Friday afternoon in the middle of the holiday season, a perfect time to offer a seasonal serenade – a medley of songs and carols for your amusement!

If you’ll be shopping on or offline this weekend, be sure to check out our post from last year on seasonal fraud: Scam-apalooza! Don’t let fraud ruin your holiday

Holiday fun – cats, dogs, sugar plum fairies & egg nog


Since it’s the holiday season, we thought we’d bring you a few of our favorite seasonal clips. Best wishes to you and yours over the holiday – and be safe – be sure not to drive if you have any spiked egg nog!

Straight No Chaser – Who Spiked The Eggnog?

Cat Christmas Tree Disaster

Freshpet Holiday Feast – 13 Dogs and 1 Cat Eating with Human Hands

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy – Pentatonix

Holiday mishaps & how to avoid them


santa-problems

Even the best laid plans can run into snags or unforeseen problems. That’s what insurance is all about for – having financial protection when we encounter one of life’s costly problems. The folks at NAIC have compiled a list of potential holiday mishaps – and what insurance policy would provide coverage. Take a quick look.

Of course, we hope you won’t have any problems. We’ve looked in our archives for some seasonal safety tips to help you minimize risk for common holiday problems.

Don’t lose money on prepaid debit cards!

Holiday alert: Be on guard for identity theft

Take these quizzes to see how safe you are online

Dangerous toy alert

Insurance tips to protect expensive electronic gifts

Burglary prevention when you are traveling

Hiding your valuables

Burglar Secrets: Expert advice on how to protect your home

Terrifying Carbon Monoxide Incidents Should Be a Reminder

Have you watered your Christmas tree today?

Candle and decoration safety

Holiday decorations: fire prevention; keeping kids & pets safe


Have a happy New Year: Plan to party safely

Survey: Most homeowners unaware of holiday liabilities

Remember, if you do suffer a loss, your local independent agent can help. Learn more about the benefits of working with your local independent insurance agent