This post was originally published on December 4, 2018 and updated for comprehensiveness and accuracy.

The holiday season is a busy time for all of us. Whether you’re making cookies, spending time with beloved friends and family, or waiting until the last minute to buy gifts, it’s no doubt the holidays are exciting. However, all this excitement shouldn’t distract you from your home security.

To keep security top of mind and give you more time for your busy holiday schedules, we’ve rounded up the top holiday advice in one post. Enjoy this collection of our top holiday home safety tips from the security experts at Vector Security!

Kitchen Safety

Feasts with family and friends are one of the best parts of celebrating the holidays. While your family may be looking forward to big, home-cooked meals, keep in mind the risks involved with cooking for large parties.

Christmas kitchen accidents are among the most common during the holidays. Consider following these kitchen safety tips to better protect you and your loved ones:

  1. Keep children out of the kitchen, and only allow experienced cooks to prepare holiday meals.
  2. Maintain a clean kitchen, especially a clear floor, to ward against trips and falls.
  3. Never leave a flame, the stovetop, or your oven unattended.
  4. Always put away knives and other sharp utensils when not in use.

Fire Safety

Holiday decorations around the house add a significant fire hazard to your home. According to the National Fire Protection Association, around 12% of all home candle fires that begin with decorations occur in December.

Warm light from a candle or fireplace is a common holiday tradition but should be handled with care. Adhere to basic fire safety rules, such as:

  1. Keeping children away from flames.
  2. Placing candles far enough from flammable objects, like holiday decorations, which are often susceptible to catching fire.
  3. Checking to make sure all smoke detectors are working properly.
  4. Arming your home with a fire alarm backed by a 24/7 monitoring center to ensure emergency responders are dispatched if needed.

Out of Town Safety

A lot of families are out town during the holidays, which provides a unique opportunity for would-be criminals. If you have a home security system, make sure you enable it while you’re away.

Whether going on vacation or visiting a relative for holiday celebration, keep home security in mind by following these tips.

  • Keep expensive holiday purchases hidden in your home and away from windows to avoid tempting trespassers to break in. As a best practice, ensure blinds and curtains are drawn while your family is away or asleep.
  • After hanging lights and decorations, ensure all ladders, which can help a burglar access your home, are securely put away.
  • Night falls much earlier this time of year. Leverage sensor-triggered lights and motion-triggered video cameras outdoors to ward off unwanted visitors.

Shopping and Mall Safety

Holiday shopping can be exciting and stressful at the same time. With so many different gift ideas running through your head, it is easy to get caught up in the moment and let your guard down. While shopping, consider the following:

  1. Pay close attention to your surroundings in malls, stores and parking lots.
  2. Combine shopping bags so you have fewer items to look after.
  3. Always keep wallets, purses, and other valuables by your side.
  4. Never set your purchases down or out of sight.
  5. If you place purchased items in your car, make sure that they are concealed with a blanket, sheet or towel or put them in your trunk.
  6. Request an escort from your mall’s police force if you’re leaving late at night.

Home Safety

Home security should be top priority throughout the year, even during the holiday season. You should take the following precautions to secure your home and belongings:

  1. Break down all gift boxes and conceal them with garbage bags or cans. Thieves look for large boxes on the curb, which may indicate recent expensive purchases.
  2. Lock your doors and windows even when home. Many people let their guard down during the day.
  3. Install a monitored home security system so that you’ll be notified should a break-in occur.
  4. Be smart when opening your door to unfamiliar faces. Some thieves will take advantage of holiday cheer and go door to door asking for donations to illegitimate charities.

Have a safe and enjoyable holiday season by keeping the above safety considerations in mind. And from our family at Vector Security to yours, happy holidays!

Would you like more detail about the tips you read here? Feel free to contact Vector Security today or view the following Vector Security blog posts: