Holidays are a festive time of year, filled with food, laughter and fun! Its also a time when you should be thinking of safety precautions – especially when pulling out the Griswold holiday decorations or if you will be traveling during the holiday season. Here are some helpful tips I put together just for you!


  • Inspect all electrical decorations for damage before use. Cracked or damaged sockets, loose or bare wires and loose connections may cause a serious shock or can start a fire.
  • Don’t overload electrical circuits with holiday lighting; unplug your tree and outdoor lights before going to bed.
  • When hanging lights outdoors, avoid using staples or nails which can damage wiring. Use UL-rated clips or wires instead
  • Maintain at least a foot of space between a burning candle and anything that can catch fire.
  • Use battery-operated candles in place of traditional candles whenever possible. Almost half of home decoration fires are caused by traditional candles, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
  • Make sure all extension cords and electrical decorations used for outdoor decorating are marked for outdoor use.
  • Never connect more than three strings of incandescent lights. More than three strands may not only trip a circuit breaker, but also can cause a fire.



  • Keep windows, garages and sheds locked, and don’t forget to use deadbolts.
  • Use timers to turn on lights and a television or radio to make it appear someone is home.
  • Don’t leave a spare key in a “hiding place.” Burglars know where to look.
  • Lock your power box with an electricity authority lock (lock to which you and the electric company have a key) so that your home security alarm system can’t be cut off from the power supply.
  • Control your social status! Resist the urge to broadcast to the whole world that you are not going to be home, post all the fabulous pictures after you come home.


  • Stay alert and be aware of what’s going on around you.
  • Park in a well-lighted space, and be sure to lock the car, close the windows, and hide shopping bags and gifts in the trunk.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash; pay with a check or credit card whenever possible.
  • Deter pickpockets and purse-snatchers. Don’t overburden yourself with packages. Be extra careful with purses and wallets. Carry a purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket.
  • Shopping with kids? Teach them to go to a store clerk or security guard if you get separated.

I wish you a safe and joyous holiday season!

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.