By Jason MacDonald, Foxquilt —
Fall and winter may mean cold and frosty weather in Ontario and across most of Canada, but these months also mark some of the biggest holidays of the year, including Christmas/Hanukkah and New Year’s Eve. Throughout the season, there’s holiday cheer, fun and parties but with that comes an increase in accidents and danger too. That’s why we broke down some major safety and home insurance tips for you – no matter the holiday or occasion:
Keep your sidewalks and driveway clear of snow and ice by shovelling and applying salt. You can be held liable if a neighbour or guest slips and falls on your property.
If you have a gas or natural fireplace, never leave it unattended if it’s lit. Keep children and pets away from the fire as well as hanging decorations. Remember to extinguish it before bed or leaving the house.
Consider investing in an artificial, fire-resistant tree. If you prefer a live one, remember to keep it watered. Dry trees can become flammable and a fire hazard especially if it’s covered in lights.
Be safe and smart about electronic lights and decorations! Don’t overload or daisy-chain extension cords. Never staple or nail through cords or wires. Plug outdoor lights or decorations into ground-fault circuit interrupters for outdoor use. Keep highly combustible objects like tissue paper or dried flowers away from lights and electronics.
Christmas is one of the busiest days for firefighters. Never leave your oven or range unattended. Do not try to fight a fire yourself; leave it to the professionals.
New Years Eve
If a guest seems overly intoxicated at a party, cut them off from drinking more and make sure they do not drive themselves home. If they get behind the wheel and cause an accident, you could be held accountable as the host for the damage they cause to themselves or others.
Make sure guests have a safe way to get home in advance – whether it’s a designated driver or a cab home. Walking home is not necessarily safe either if a guest is intoxicated, especially if they’re alone.
Similarly, if you can, have sleeping arrangements prepared in case overly intoxicated guests need to stay over for the night. Often times, this is the safest option.
Leave the fireworks to the professionals, especially if you are having a party or have many guests over. Choose to watch a local fireworks show in your area or live on television.
General Holiday Home Safety Tips
If you have friends and family over for dinner, make sure all meats are cooked to their correct temperatures all the way through. Do not leave leftovers out for long periods of time; get them in the fridge as soon as possible. If one of your guests gets food poisoning and procures medical bills, you can be held accountable as the host.
You may not be hosting for the holidays but you may be travelling as a guest to another event. Whether it’s out of the country or just down the block, make sure your home is prepared before you leave by checking that doors and windows are locked. Home robberies usually increase near the end of the year. Consider investing in motion sensor outdoor lights, indoor timer lights or a home security system. Don’t advertise your travel plans online or on social media. Shut off the water supply and drain your pipes to prevent them from freezing and bursting. Have someone you can trust check on the property while you’re away.
If you’re having a party, don’t advertise it online or on social media to avoid unwanted groups of guests.
Sometimes accidents happen, even when we try our best to avoid them; that’s why having the right home insurance coverage is so crucial. We know the holidays can get expensive between the gifts and the food so we’ll try to save you money on your home insurance at Foxquilt by finding you the best rates. We help you see a comparison of rates upfront using our online quote; try it out today.
About The Author
Jason MacDonald has been licensed as a broker in Ontario and Alberta since 2014, has completed his CAIB designation and holds a Bachelor of Commerce with Honours in Business Administration from the University of Windsor’s Odette School of Business. Jason worked with the Hallmark Insurance Group where he received the President’s Award during his first year and was promoted to Commercial Insurance in the McLean Hallmark merger. There, he expanded into more complex commercial risks – ranging from Craft Distillers to Golf Courses to International Warehousing and Mining Companies. He also received McLean Hallmark’s “New Kid on the Block” Award for excelling in his first year in Commercial Insurance. Jason is now an Account Executive at Foxquilt and continues to insure personal and commercial properties using Foxquilt’s group insurance savings model.
Foxquilt is a Canadian financial technology company focused on using big data and machine learning to empower social groups to save on Home and Small Business insurance. We create new value opportunities for customers by bringing people and communities together online with a smart and modern approach to insurance. Leveraging innovative technology and creating unique products, we make it easy for customers to buy insurance online from leading carriers and access group purchasing power. Foxquilt customers achieve savings upfront on premiums, reduced deductibles and are rewarded with further savings at renewal. For more information, please visit www.foxquilt.com.