A group of people gathering around a table and exchanging giftsThere’s something special about spending quality time with friends and family during the holiday season. But before you shift your attention to cooking a tasty Thanksgiving dinner or organizing a fun-filled gift swap at your home, we suggest you take precautions to protect yourself, your guests and your assets. Here’s a pre-holiday safety checklist you can follow to help prevent any misfortune during the most wonderful time of the year.

1. Clear Exits

Throughout the year, you may have accumulated boxes, paper or other clutter near doors, on staircases or on the floor. Take time to find a permanent home for these tripping hazards, so that access to windows and doors is not blocked in case of a fire or other emergency. And as you decorate for the holidays, keep safety in mind and make sure electrical cords and decorations don’t obstruct access or pose a risk for fires.

2. Clean Up Outdoor Walkways

Outside your home, remove any fallen branches, leaves or other debris from walkways that could cause someone to fall. Additionally, make sure to clear snow and ice after storms, so you and your guests don’t slip.

3. Remove Potential Fire Hazards

Remove flammable debris such as leaves and sticks from your gutters and from around your home, as these could catch on fire and quickly turn a small burn into a massive blaze. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, call a chimney sweep to clean any build-up that could accelerate a fire.

Inspect the filter in your home’s heating system and replace it if necessary, as the heat could ignite any built-up material. Speaking of filters, check your dryer’s lint trap and exhaust hose and remove any built-up lint, which can also ignite. Also, don’t forget to make sure your home’s smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order and have fresh batteries.

4. Deep-Clean Your Home

Sanitize surfaces in your home to remove germs, and make sure to dust and vacuum to minimize the dust that can trigger asthma or allergies. If you’ve noticed any mold in your home, use bleach to clean it—but don’t forget to address its underlying cause as well.  Mold can cause health problems for both visitors and those who live in your home full-time.

Review Your Homeowners Coverage

No matter how hard you try to remove hazards from your home, it’s always smart to have insurance in place so that you and your assets are protected in case the worst happens.

Typical homeowners insurance policies include liability coverage that will protect you in the event that someone gets injured on your property. They also cover the cost to repair or completely rebuild your home and attached or unattached structures on your property in case of fire or other types of damage.

Our insurance experts will partner with you to make sure your homeowners insurance policy fits your needs and budget. Contact us today to schedule a review.