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Ensuring Home Safety During the Holidays

Holiday Food Safety Guidelines

Staying Safe While Travelling During the Holidays

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Keeping Safe During the Holidays: A 2024 Guide for Homeowners

5 min readUpdated Mar. 13, 2024Kimberly HillegassGenerator
Stay Safe During the Holidays image

With the holiday season just around the corner, it's high time to think about your safety at home. At Sears Home Services, we want to make sure your holiday season is not just memorable, but also safe. In this article, we'll guide you through various safety tips to keep in mind during the holiday season.


  • Staying safe during the holidays is a combination of preparation, vigilance, and responsible behavior.
  • Checking your home’s safety devices will ensure that your household enjoys a safe holiday season.
  • Follow safe food handling guidelines during the holidays to help prevent family members and guests from getting ill.

Ensuring Home Safety During the Holidays

The festive season is filled with joy, laughter, and cheer. But amidst the celebration, it's crucial to not overlook your home's safety. From preventing potential fire risks to ensuring electrical safety, there are several ways to keep your home safe during the holiday season.

Firstly, be mindful when setting up holiday decorations. Anything that involves an open flame or heat source requires your utmost attention. Keep candles and open flames well away from flammable materials, like curtains and decorations. Better yet, consider using flameless LED candles - they provide a warm, cozy atmosphere without the fire hazard.

Another crucial aspect is electrical safety. Always inspect your holiday lights for any signs of damage or fraying. Replace any faulty lights immediately and avoid overloading your electrical outlets. Using a surge protector is a good way to keep your home safe from power surges and prevent electrical hazards.

When using holiday lights outdoors, use lights designed specifically for outdoor use and keep them away from flammable materials. Avoid running extension cords through windows or doorways, as this can pose a safety risk.

Checking your home’s safety devices will ensure that your household enjoys a safe holiday season. Use this checklist to make sure that all safety devices are ready to protect you and your family.

  • Replace the batteries in all smoke detectors and then test them to make sure they work.
  • Install new batteries in all carbon monoxide detectors.
  • If you have a monitored fire and security system, check the operation of all sensors, cameras and detectors.
  • Test the operation of all GFCI electrical outlets. These outlets are installed throughout your home in bathrooms, the kitchen and other areas where electrical devices are exposed to water. To test a GCFI outlet, plug a lamp, nightlight or small appliances into the outlet and turn the device on. Press the Test button on the GCFI outlet. The device should turn off because the GCFI outlet interrupts electrical power going to the device. Press the Reset button and the device should turn back on.
  • If you have a whole-home back-up generator, test the transfer switch according to the guidelines in the owner’s manual. For most back-up generators, you’ll switch off the main power supply breaker for your home. The generator should start and the transfer switch should shift to the back-up power supply. Let the generator run for a few minutes and then reset the main power supply breaker. The generator should shut off and the transfer switch should restore the normal utility supply power to your home.

By following these tips, you can have a safe and worry-free holiday season. If you need any assistance with home safety or maintenance, our team at Sears Home Services is here to help. Don't hesitate to reach out to us for more information about our services and how we can help ensure your home's safety.

Woman cooking a holiday meal in the kitchen

Holiday Food Safety Guidelines

Food safety is another aspect that homeowners need to consider during the holidays. Here are a few tips to keep you and your loved ones safe:

  • Handling and Storing Holiday Food: Proper food handling and storage can prevent contamination. Always wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling food. Keep raw meats separate from other ingredients, and refrigerate perishable items promptly.
  • Preventing Foodborne Illnesses: Foodborne illnesses can ruin your holiday celebrations, so it's important to take precautions. Ensure all food, especially meat and poultry, is cooked thoroughly. Use a food thermometer to verify that food has reached the appropriate internal temperature. Avoid raw or undercooked eggs and unpasteurized dairy products.
  • Safe Cooking Practices: Keep your kitchen clean and sanitized, and use separate cutting boards for raw and cooked foods. Avoid leaving perishable food items at room temperature for too long, especially during buffet-style gatherings. Refrigerate leftovers promptly to prevent bacteria growth.

Staying Safe While Travelling During the Holidays

If you're planning to travel during the holiday season, safety should be your top priority. Here are some tips to ensure a safe journey:

  1. Plan Ahead. Check the weather conditions, road closures, and travel advisories before you set out. Always have a backup plan in case of unexpected delays or cancellations.
  2. Stay Alert. Stay focused and alert during your journey. Avoid distractions like texting while driving. If you're flying, keep an eye on your belongings at all times.
  3. Secure Your Home. Before you leave, ensure your home is secure. Lock all doors and windows, set timers for lights to give the impression of occupancy, and consider asking a trusted neighbor to check on your property regularly.
  4. Protect Your Personal Belongings. Keep your valuables safe while traveling. Store cash, jewelry, and electronics securely and avoid displaying expensive items in public. Be cautious when using ATMs or handling cash.

By following these tips, you can have a safe and enjoyable holiday season.

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