How are you spending your Thanksgiving holiday? Are you staying home? Traveling to a friend’s or family member’s house? Are you resting up for a big day of shopping on Black Friday? Maybe all the above? Here are a few safety tips for whatever you may have planned.
Safety At Home
According to the American Red Cross, Thanksgiving Day home fires cause more property damage and claim more lives than home fires on any other day. Let’s let that sink in. The day that we are supposed to be most thankful for the blessings we have is the day we tend to cause more damage to our house and maybe even ourselves or loved ones through one of our day to day tasks: cooking. In fact, it’s said that cooking fires nearly double on Thanksgiving Day. With Thanksgiving Day being a week away, here are a few simple tips that can help prevent you from falling victim to these disasters:
Before the big day:
Check the batteries in your smoke detectors or mount new smoke detectors in your home.
Are you frying your turkey? If so, make sure you have your fryer set up outside and away from any structures including fences and walls.
The day of:
Never leave cooking food unattended. Whether you’re grilling, frying, or boiling, always monitor.
Keep the kiddos away. Establish a kid free zone and keep them away from any cooking surfaces.
Keep items that can easily catch fire such as dish towels, pot holders, and even lose articles of clothing, away from cooking surfaces.
Safety While Traveling
In today’s world, we love to share our every move. Facebook asks at every login “what’s on your mind?” Many times, users use that space to share where they are, checking into their favorite restaurant, sharing pictures of their kids or pets at their favorite landmark (hello Pigeon Forge!). But when we do that, we are letting “friends” know that our home is empty at that moment. Many times, they can scroll back through and see that new ring you got for your birthday or that laptop in the background of a past picture. Let me just say this loud and clear. Are you listening? People prey on your posts. Even those on your friends list. My most important tip while traveling is do not advertise where you are. Take pictures. Take pictures of your kids overlooking the snow topped mountains. Take pictures of your food, that juicy steak you had your first night there, that Thanksgiving dinner you had at grandmas. But share when you’re back home. There’s not harm in a #latergram.
While you’re gone, ask a trusted neighbor or friend to keep an eye on your home. Have them grab the mail, feed and water the dog, or water your plants.
Put your lights on a timer. If people see lights continually change, even if there isn’t a car coming and going or motion in the house, the fact that the lights change can help ward off any intruders.
And finally… for my Black Friday Shoppers
So you’re planning to run from store to store and snatch up a bunch of deals? Great! It’s always great to save money. But let’s be honest. There are some hostile people out there and with this being one of the, if not the, biggest shopping weekends of the year, prevention of identity theft should be a priority. So what are some practices that you can follow to help protect you both physically and financially?
When in the store, keep your purse or wallet close by. Make sure you carry something that either goes in your pocket or stays right next to your body.
Don’t fight with someone over the last anything. It’s just not worth it.
Before going, purchase a blocking card or sleeve. This can protect your cards from someone scanning and stealing your card information.
Use one credit card for all transactions. Remember the Target credit card breach of 2013? Hackers have gotten much savvier and fraud is becoming a daily occurrence in the retail world. Using one card eliminates the risk of hackers getting more of your information.
Prior to leaving the store, make sure your loot is property covered and packed into your bags. Do what you can to try and cover the things you’ve purchased and maybe even put them in the trunk.
Be aware in the parking lot. Stay off your phone and pay attention to your surroundings.
And there you have it. Now you’re prepared for whatever this year’s Thanksgiving holiday may hold.
The biggest tip I can offer, and this is an area where we can help you, is make sure your homeowner’s policy is up to date and you have adequate coverage on your auto insurance. At SIG of course we want your business. Let’s be transparent. That’s how we make money. But the most important thing to us is to make sure you’re educated, and you’re covered for all your holiday endeavors, no matter what they might be. Let us review your policy. Whether you go with us or not, let’s make sure you’re properly covered.