It’s that time of year where people are lighting up the chimney, roasting marshmallows and putting up festive decorations for the season. It’s also the time of year when many people start to think about Christmas safety.
Christmas is another disaster filled holiday that unfortunately leads to many families being displaced because of fire damage.
We want you and your family to know what you're up against so we put together these Christmas safety tips for you to avoid some of the Christmas safety problems that come up every year.
Christmas Light Safety Tips
One of the more overlooked safety concerns for Christmas holiday safety come from lights and electrical safety.
It’s very common to see homes filled with lights both on the outside and inside of the house. So let’s take a quick look at some of the key things to think about while decorating.
Christmas light safety
If you are putting up Christmas lights on the outside of your home then you must remember that you are going to have to think about how to power outdoor Christmas lights safely as well as what to hang them with.
First, let’s talk about powering the Christmas lights. If you’re still following the example most of our grandparents set with a few extension cords, untangling large strings of lights and then hanging them around the roof (secured by nails bought to build the fence) then you are putting yourself in a serious risk.
Those big orange extension cords are a huge trip hazard to anyone who comes on your property. Imagine if a delivery driver were to be injured at your home while delivering a gift to your door. And while these extension cords still work great, the problem is that if you use both plugs in an outlet you run the risk of causing a fire from an overloaded outlet. Instead, you should pick up an outdoor power stake.
This one on Amazon has a 9 foot weatherproof extension cord built into it and has 6 outlets that can be used to plug in those strings of lights without having to worry about overloading your main outlet.
Plus, it’s fire resistant and has an on/off switch that acts as a circuit breaker.
How To hang Exterior Christmas Lights Safely
Hanging Christmas lights that have been sitting tangled in a box in the dark corners of the attic can present a few dangers of their own.
Think about it...
Imagine you hang all of your lights, plug them in and find out that most don’t work because of damaged wires in the cord. What some people would do is attempt to fix them while hung, which means climbing a ladder an fiddling with the light strands. Not safe.
It’s better to plug in each strand individually before hanging them so that any strands that don’t work can be fixed while you are not 10 feet in the air on a ladder.
Also, never use nails or tacks to secure the lights to your house.
This video will give you some suggestions on Christmas light safety and how you hang those Christmas lights without using nails
Christmas Ladder Safety
This brings us to ladder safety. Here are 6 ladder safety tips to keep in mind while you decorate for christmas.
Christmas Safety Tips For Pets
Pet lovers can rest assured that your curious friend will most likely get into some things that could cause danger for themselves and you as well.
Here are a few Christmas safety tips to consider if you have a pet
Consider using a Christmas Tree Safety Gate
A Christmas tree safety gate is good for keeping small pets and children a safe distance from the Christmas tree. You can pick one up from Amazon as well
Christmas Safety: Shopping Tips To Stay Safe
One thing is for certain, Christmas shopping is one of the most busy activities during this time of the year.
You know it, I know it and unfortunately, so do thieves. So let’s look at some of the key things you can do for Christmas shopping safety.
Stores with extended hours
Some stores will have extended hours to help those who need to shop at night. Low light and high traffic are the holiday thieves dream. This is when they can move undetected through big crowds to pickpocket and shoplift with let chance of being spotted right away.
However, the career criminals tend to stick to breaking into the cars in the parking lots or robbing and scamming the people who are in the parking lot alone.
It’s vital to keep your wits about you and stay focused on being as safe as possible. That means parking in well lit areas and ask a store clerk to walk purchases to your car whenever possible.
Christmas Safety For Your Home and Car
Christmas time is also one of the best times to call about home and auto insurance because it is a time of year that presents much higher risks.
Christmas Day and Christmas eve are 2 of the 3 most dangerous times of year when it comes to house fires. The other is thanksgiving.
The Christmas season is also one that sees more cars being broken into and more homes being vandalized.
All of these risks are easily covered simply by checking on your policy. And it’s also a great time to get a new quote and see how much you can save on your coverage.
Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday filled with family, fun and food. Unfortunately, thanksgiving is also a time that we tend to see more damage claims.
The insurance industry typically sees an uptick of fire damage claims during this time of year. How big is the uptick? According to fema, you are 2.3% more likely to be involved in a fire on thanksgiving than any other day in the year.
There are many more risks that Thanksgiving presents to its participants than just fire. There are a number of areas that you should take caution in, which we will dive into below.
Enjoy these Thanksgiving safety tips from Ferguson Insurance Center
Reconsider The Turkey Fryer
Many people love the taste of a deep-fried turkey on thanksgiving but the process of frying it can be a dangerous one. When deep frying a turkey you are putting yourself at risk of burns as well as the fire hazard that the gas-fueled burner presents.
If you can’t resist the urge to fry that turkey, be sure to follow these safety tips to protect your home and your family.
Kitchen Safety and Sanitation: Prevent Food Poisoning
Food poisoning is something that no one wants to give or receive during the holiday season. When it comes to cooking poultry, like turkey, properly thawing and sanitation is of the utmost importance.
Remove All Potential Hazards
Kitchen safety hazards that come with Thanksgiving are also injuries from appliances or hot dishes. Here are a couple of short kitchen safety tips to keep in mind.
Kitchen Safety Rules For Kids
Thanksgiving time is a great time of year to pass down dishes from generation to generation. It’s also a great time to pass down kitchen safety rules to the younger generations as well. Be sure to share these tips…
These kitchen safety tips are suggestions that may help keep the Thanksgiving festivities fun and safe for you and your loved ones.
Holiday Safety Tips
The holiday season is upon us once again. This is a time for family, fun trips and shopping. It’s the most wonderful time of year…
Unless, you happen to be one of the many people who will face a disastrous situation that puts them at risk for losing property, being liable for an injury or having their identity stolen.
It is well known among insurance agents that the Holiday season comes with an uptick in the amount of claims we receive. Auto insurance claims rise 20% in December alone on average so there are real dangers that you must protect your family and yourself from.
Here are just a tips to help you stay protected.
Holiday Safety For Seniors
If you are hosting a loved one over the age of 55 then you need to know that they are at a higher risk for injury. Being proactive to keep them safe during the holiday will go a long way toward avoiding unnecessary hospital visits.
Take these 6 steps to avoid dangerous situations with a senior this holiday season.
Secure all floor coverings
Check your chairs
Limit dim lighting
Say safe when cooking
Monitor for sound
Holiday Safety For Pets
Keeping your pet’s out of danger can also be a tall order. Our furry friends are very curious, which could often lead to danger for our pets as well as our homes.
The hazards that pet cause during the holiday season are vast simply because they don’t understand what’s happening but they want to explore all of the new things in their environment.
What are some of the things you can do to keep your pet safe?
Bolt down the tree
Keep Cord and Batteries out of your pet’s reach
Avoid Tinsel and breakable tree ornaments
Never leave lighted candles unattended
How To Keep Your Home Safe While You're Away For The Holidays
A common problem during the holiday season is theft. Many thieves expect many homes to be empty because they know that many people like to travel during these times of year.
There are a few things you can do to keep your home protected while you are away during your holiday travels...
Don’t announce your holiday plans on social media
Cancel your regular services
Invest in affordable security lighting
Let your close-by friends know you’re going away
Don’t hide your spare key outside your home
Safety Tips For Holiday Travel
In an article by CNTraveler.com, they asked a former CIA operative how to stay safe during the busiest travel time of the year?
Here’s a list of what the 14-year veteran of the CIA had to offer:
Leave valuables at home
Stay in touch with family and friends
Keep a low profile
Travel in groups
Book the right hotel room
Pay attention to your whereabouts
Leave your passport in your hotel room
His basic advice, be prepared for the most likely scenarios. Fairly simple
Holiday Driving Safety Advice
Before you get on the road, make sure you…
Get your standard maintenance up to date
Have an emergency roadside kit (See the whole kit here)
Have a mapped route plan
Take the necessary weather safety precautions
Keep the kids safe and entertained
Take a break every 2 hours or 100 miles
Keep an eye out for potentially intoxicated drivers
Taking these steps during your holiday road trip can help you avoid unnecessary car insurance claims.
Deliver Safety For Holiday Packages
One of the most often overlooked groups of people when it comes to creating a safe environment during the holidays are the postal workers. They can often be so busy trying to deliver our last minute packages that they don’t see the hazards that could endanger them.
Many homeowners end up having liability claims against them because of injuries to postal workers during holiday deliveries.
These are a few of the things you can do to avoid having that happen to you
Holiday Safety Tips: Cybersecurity Safety for the holidays
Holiday shopping almost always come with the threat of having a holiday cyber breach along with it. Hackers know that we have much more online shopping activity during this time of year and they lurk behind their scams to try to steal from us.
KnowBe4, a company that specializes in security training put together a great video to help people keep from getting hacked by criminals that hope to prey on our holiday shopping habits.
Get A Quote Ahead of the Holiday Season To Make Sure You're Fully Covered
This guest post is by Ingrid Walter, who is a blogger and freelance writer.
Big data started as a way to describe data sets that are too big for traditional databases to capture, store, manage, and analyze. But now the term has evolved to define a set of technologies that can solve complex problems by analyzing trends from large and variable data. Big data is already commonplace in industries like banking, construction, retail, and transportation. One of the latest industries to take advantage of big data is motor insurance, which is using the modern technology to provide a more personalized service to customers.
What if you can accurately asses risks?
On Ferguson Insurance Center we have a list of the most common car insurance mistakes you can commit. Using big data, insurers can now create a better picture when it comes to claims. Forbes notes that risk assessment in car insurance is what the industry is built on. Some insurers now use “telemetry-based packages” that feed data direct from the vehicle to their system. This allows the insurers to get an accurate record of a driver's behavior, which can then affect their assessment of an accident or theft.
Easier application process
ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance, the first internet-only insurer in China, is a great example of how big data is making the application process easier. They are using machine learning and analytics to analyze data. Wang Yu head of car insurance at ZhongAn told the South China Morning Post: “We have broken the online purchase process into 45 parts. We monitor and analyze data flows from each part and if we notice that users spend too much time in one part, then we know something may be wrong with it or it has potential to be optimized.” Don't be surprised to see this method of application spread across the globe.
Fairer risk assessment
There's an ongoing debate about whether or not insurance companies should use a consumer's credit score as a way to assess risk. While credit scores have helped companies assess a consumer's personal responsibility, the Insurance Journal points out it isn't popular: "it’s never been obvious to the typical consumer what one’s credit history has to do with one’s likelihood to get in an accident". With big data insurance companies have even wider scope to determine credit scores by providing even more variables. However, the article also notes that the wide range of personal information that could be included in the data scan, such as social media accounts, is likely to put off many customers.
Better fraud detection
In the US, insurance fraud accounts for $80 billion a year. Fraud also makes up about for about 10% of the property-casualty insurance losses and loss adjustment expenses each year. To battle this, 48 states, including the District of Columbia made insurance fraud a specific crime.
Most insurers have to manually assess and report suspicious insurance claims before they can verify an actual fraud. With big data, specifically predictive modeling and strict data management, insurers can quickly identify when there is a high-risk case that needs investigation. They can simply match variables in claims against profiles of past fraudulent activities.
This type of protection can be seen in the trucking industry. Verizon Connect explains how advanced fleet tracking software helps with insurance claims in the event of stolen assets. This is mainly because every part of a truck’s journey is recorded, and insurers can see “exactly what happened where”. Monitoring high-value assets has never been easier. Driver ID technology comes in handy, too, allowing the right people to take responsibility for any loss in company assets.
The bottom-line for the motor industry is: if every data generated is traced, tracked, recorded, and stored, insurance claims can be easy to handle—both for the customer and the insurer.
Exclusively written for fergusonins.com by Ingrid Walter