Fire, burglary and injury are the last topics you want to think about during the holidays.

Unfortunately, these risks rise during the holidays due to an increase in activities, travel and individuals’ heightened financial stresses.

Give your family peace of mind by establishing safety practices and installing devices throughout your home. Utilize the four tips below to protect your home from risks from Thanksgiving to New Years.

4 Ways to Safeguard Your Home During the Holidays

1. Limit the cooks in the kitchen. While your family may be looking forward to big turkey dinners, latkes or figgy pudding, keep in mind the risks associated with cooking in large quantities. According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving is the leading day for home cooking fires in the U.S.

Key tips to ensure your kitchen stays safe include:

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

2. Use candles and your fireplace with caution. Warm light from a candle or fireplace is a sentimental holiday tradition, but should be handled with care. Stick to basic fire safety rules, such as never allowing children near fires or placing candles too close to flammable objects. This includes holiday decorations, which are often susceptible to catching fire.

Prior to the holiday season, check that all smoke detectors are working properly. In addition to an audible alarm, arm your home with a fire alarm that is backed by a 24/7 monitoring center to ensure emergency responders are dispatched if needed.

3. Be prepared for frequent houseguests or parties. Whether you’re throwing a holiday bash or inviting relatives to stay at your home, ensure guests are safe with a complete smart home security program. Increasing the number of persons under your roof will also increase your safety and security risks.

Features such as remotely monitored and controlled lights, locks, alarms and video surveillance can ensure your home is protected as guests come-and-go. For example, provide trusted houseguests, such as close family and friends, with temporary codes to arm and disarm your security system.

4. Remember home security while you’re away. Before your family ventures off to a tropical vacation or simply for a holiday meal, keep home security in mind with the following quick tips:

  • Keep expensive holiday purchases, such as gifts, hidden in your home and away from windows to avoid tempting trespassers to break in. As a best practice, always 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.

How do you protect your home during the holiday season? Share your suggestions in the comments below!