10 Safety Reminders for this Holiday Season: Allstate

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Ring in the New Year Safely

Toronto, November 2, 2010 — Between visiting family and friends, dodging fellow shoppers at the mall and keeping track of your hat, scarf and gloves, it is easy to overlook simple things pertaining to seasonal safety.

“The holiday season is busy for everyone, so we often forget to take the time to plan ahead and ensure our home and our valuables are protected,” says Eric Michalko, official spokesperson for Allstate Insurance Company of Canada. “Whether you are planning on taking a vacation, hosting a party or just staying home, plan to keep your house safe this holiday season from thieves as well as potential accidents or fire hazards.”

Allstate Canada offers the following tips to ensure you have a safe holiday season:

If you’re going on vacation:

  • Always keep valuable jewelry, which according to Allstate Canada data is one of the most common items stolen from homes, in a safe or hidden in a separate area of your home, ideally away from the bedroom. If it’s all kept in one place, in a jewelry box, it makes it easier for a thief to find.
  • Don’t give thieves an open invitation to visit your home. Be mindful when posting personal information on social media sites, such as Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare. The information posted on these sites is public and can be easily accessed even if you think your profile is protected. Do not post that you are going on vacation or upload pictures while you are
  • Make your house look occupied. Arrange to have snow removed from your driveway or sidewalk while you’re away. Suspend newspaper subscriptions and ask a neighbour to collect mail and flyers. Use automatic indoor and outdoor light timers.

If you’re hosting a party:

  • Keep in mind that the safety of your guests is your responsibility. If they drive home intoxicated, you could be blamed, or worse, sued. Plan ahead by having a guest room ready for overnight guests, handing out taxi phone numbers for your area and having cash available.
  • Reduce hazards around your home for your guests. Shovel snow from your driveway and walkway and keep both free of ice. To help melt ice, consider using a natural, environmentally friendly product such as alfalfa meal or sand.
  • Childproof your home if you expect young guests to visit. Cover electrical outlets, block staircases and remove furniture and decorations that can be tripped over by little feet.

If you’re staying home:

  • Carefully inspect Christmas light strands. Each year, remember to dispose of any defective lighting such as frayed cords, cracked bulbs or loose connections. Do not overload electrical outlets with lights. Be sure to turn off or unplug any decorative lights before you go to bed or leave your home.
  • Do not use candles with open flames. Candles that are forgotten or burn to the end can be a fire hazard. Consider purchasing battery operated candles and lights. Remember decorations such as wreaths, trees or paper decorations are flammable.
  • Be prepared. Check the smoke detectors on every level of your home. Change the batteries if you have not done so in the past year.
  • Cut up the boxes from your presents and put them in your recycling. Don’t advertise to thieves that you have a new stereo or TV in your home.

About Allstate Insurance Company of Canada

Allstate Insurance Company of Canada produces and distributes home and auto insurance products across Canada. “The Good Hands Network®” enables consumers to contact Allstate Canada through one of 93 community Agencies, directly online at www.allstate.ca and through the Customer Contact Centre at 1-800-allstate.