According to the National Association of Realtors, parents gifting money to their children to help purchase a first home is a common experience. Gifting money is a type of down payment assistance that can help them realize their dreams of homeownership.
5 tips for keeping your home safe this holiday season
The holiday season is a busy time, and many people want to sit back and not worry about work or their home. But this time of year is one of the most important times to think about home safety, from fire to break-ins.
Follow these five tips for keeping your home safe this holiday season so you can relax and enjoy the season.
Do essential home maintenance tasks
This is the time of year to perform essential home maintenance tasks such as changing out air filters, cleaning air ducts and vents, and hiring a chimney sweep to inspect the chimney.
You will also need to refresh the batteries on the fire and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Doing so will keep your home and your family safe this season.
Keep holiday decorations away from heat sources
Heat sources, yes, even air vents, can be a fire hazard if decorations get too close. If you put up a fresh Christmas tree, keep it watered and away from heat sources to prevent it from drying out too quickly, making it a fire hazard.
Only use outdoor safe lights when decorating outside
Are you decorating your home and yard? Double-check all decorations and lights to ensure that they are outdoor safe—including extension cords. Please do not overload outlets or extensions and keep them away from water and metal objects.
Check all electric outlets & decorations for damage
The holiday season is beautiful with all of the lights and decorations our neighbors and we put up to celebrate. But with that beauty comes significant safety hazards. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, December has the highest rate of electrical fires due to holiday lights.
Before decorating, check all electric outlets and decorations for damage before using them to avoid potential sparks and fires. If your lights and other electric decorations are older than 4-6 years old or damaged, they need to be replaced.
Keep your home secure
The holidays are a popular time for travel—and potential burglaries. Since so many homes become empty, it is an opportunity for would-be thieves to steal your holiday cheer. To keep your home secure:
- Install a home security system to protect your home and belongings
- Put lights on a timer
- Install outdoor motion sensor lights
- Lock the doors and windows
- Close all blinds and curtains
- Don’t post on social media until after you are home
- Get a trusted friend or neighbor to collect your mail