Holiday Home Safety

Take extra time to make sure your home is protected while you’re out shopping, visiting and celebrating.  Follow these suggestions:

  • Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave the house, even for a few minutes.
  • When leaving home for an extended time, have a neighbor or family member watch your house and pick up your newspapers and mail.
  • Ask or pay a trusted neighbor to shovel your snow if necessary.
  • Indoor and outdoor lights should be on an automatic timer.
  • Leave a radio or television on so the house looks and sounds occupied.
  • Large displays of holiday gifts should not be visible through the windows and doors of your home.
  • When setting up a Christmas tree or other holiday display, make sure doors and passageways are clear inside your home.
  • Be sure your Christmas tree is mounted on a sturdy base so children, elderly persons or family pets cannot pull it over on themselves.
  • If you use lights on your Christmas tree ensure the wiring is not damaged or frayed.  Frayed or damaged wiring can cause a fire.
  • Don’t leave lights on overnight or when you are away from home.
  • Use only fire resistant ornaments on a holiday tree.
  • Place your Christmas tree in plenty of water or wet sand to keep it green.  
  • Continue to make sure the tree is properly watered and moist.
  • A dry tree can be a serious fire hazard.
  • Test your smoke detectors.
  • After the holidays, mark new gifts with an identification number and record new serials numbers.
  • Never place wrapping paper in your fireplace.
  • Avoid leaving boxes from purchases visible out at the curb for trash pickup.  It’s a big clue to a thief on what new items you have inside.

Strangers at Your Door

  • Be wary of strangers soliciting for charitable donations. 
  • They may try to take advantage of people’s generosity during the holidays. 
  • Ask for identification, how donated funds are used, if contributions are tax deductible, etc.  If you donate, get a receipt.
  • If you aren’t satisfied with the answers, don’t give.
  • Don’t allow strangers in your home for any reason.
  • Someone could be trying to use an excuse to get into your home and then steal your belongings.

Be Responsible When Hosting a Party

There’s a good reason why December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month.  At least 50 percent of holiday traffic deaths are related to alcohol. Something to keep in mind if you’re going to be hosting or attending a holiday party.

Planning a Safe Party:

Planning a family gathering or party at your house? If you’re not careful, you could be potentially liable for guests that leave drunk.  If your guests get into an accident because they had too much to drink at your party, the finger could be pointed at you. The best solution is to not serve alcohol and have a party filled with holiday foods, games and non-alcoholic drinks. But, if you still want to have alcoholic beverages, then we suggest the following tips:

  • Ask friends to designate a driver before the party.
  • Collect coats & keys as guests arrive.
  • Encourage group activities that focus on fun—not alcohol.
  • Make food and non-alcoholic drinks easily available.   
  • Provide plenty of food so the focus is not solely on alcohol.
  • Discontinue serving any of your guests who appear to have had too much.
  • Never serve alcohol to anyone under the age of 21.
  • If someone has had too much to drink offer to have them spend the night or call a cab—don’t let them drive home drunk.

Attending a Party

Have something to eat before drinking alcohol and eat high-protein foods that will stay in your stomach longer.  Remember that only time will eliminate the alcohol from your body.

Know your safe limit—Never Drink & Drive!

  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sites that if a 170-lb male had 5 drinks in a 2-hour period, he would be legally drunk with a .08 blood alcohol level, under Michigan law.
  • A 135-lb female drinking 3 to 4 drinks in a 2-hour period would be legally drunk with a .08 blood alcohol level.
  • Alcohol affects everyone differently. Know when you’ve had enough and don’t drive.

Myths about Drinking and Driving:

  • Coffee or a cold shower will sober you up— False.
  • Drink beer and wine you will be fine—False.
  • Roll down the windows and turn up the radio, you will be okay to drive home—False.
  • By driving slow, you will avoid getting into an accident.—False.