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PRS Holiday Season Safety Reminders

From Thanksgiving to New Year, it’s time to enjoy your favorite holiday traditions, celebrating around the table, and making memories with friends and family. To ensure that the festivities are not only happy, but also safe, here are some useful holiday season safety tips to keep in mind this season.

Shopping Safety

  • Try not to carry cash—Stealing someone’s debit or credit card takes extra work. That’s why cash is so attractive to thieves. If cash is all you’ve got, keep it in a wallet and in your front pocket.
  • Dress down—Dress comfortably and leave the jewelry at home. This will take a thief’s focus off of you.
  • Avoid using ATMs—Using ATMs can put you in a vulnerable position, not to mention the risk of card skimmers.
  • Don’t shop alone—Not only is shopping with someone safer, but it makes the adventure much more enjoyable! If you must shop alone, try your best to do so during the day, or part in a well-lit area close to the mall entrance.
  • Walk with your head high—Nowadays, everyone’s heads are down staring at their phones. Whatever the reason for head being down, lift it up! This will help you have better awareness of your surroundings and keep you safer.
  • Put purchases in the trunk—Leaving your purchases visible in any of the passenger seats can increase your risk of theft. To be safe, put as much of your purchases in the trunk. You can cover them with a sheet or blanket, too! That way criminals are less likely to entertain the thought of breaking into your car.
  • Find your keys before walking to your car—While you’re still in the mall, find and hold your keys before you leave. Looking down and fumbling through your purse makes you an easy and distracted target for someone trying to commit a crime with minimal resistance.
  • Lock your car doors the moment you get inside—Once you’ve successfully finished your holiday shopping and made it back to your car safely, lock your car doors. Yes, even before you buckle up and put the keys in the ignition. This is the proverbial safety “cherry on top.”
  •  Park in the garage to unload your purchases—When possible, park in the garage and close the garage door before unloading your items.

Unattended Home Safety

  • Check your doors and windows—Ensure that all doors and windows are closed and locked.
  •  Never hide keys around the outside of your home—Consider giving an extra key to a trusted neighbor instead.
  • Keep the outside of your house well lit—This will make it appear like someone is home. Motion detector lights may also be an option.
  • Close curtains—Close any curtains that display presents in plain view, such as under a Christmas tree.
  • Keep your mail or packages from piling up outside of your door—Schedule a delivery time for when someone is home or have a trusted neighbor sign for packages.

Cooking Safety

  • Smoke Alarms & Fire Extinguishers—Make sure you have a smoke alarm on every level of your home, inside each bedroom, and outside sleeping areas. Also keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen for easy access.
  • Pan fires—If a pan catches on fire, cover it with a lid to smother the flames or use a fire extinguisher. Never use flour or water to put out a pan fire. Call 911 if necessary.
  • Frying turkeys—Only fry a turkey outside and away from your home–not inside your garage, or on your porch. Do not overfill the oil in the turkey fryer and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on use, including thawing your turkey thoroughly and maintaining control of the oil temperature.
  • Flammable items— Keep flammable items, like potholders and paper or plastic bags, away from the stove and oven. Don’t wear loose-fitting clothing or dangling jewelry.
  • Never leave cooking food unattended on the stove—Monitor food at all times while it is being cooked. Make sure to turn pan handles towards the back of the range to prevent someone from bumping into it.

Tree Safety

  • Picking the tree—Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
  • Placing the tree—Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2in from the base. Make sure the tree is at least 3ft away from any heat source (fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents, or lights). Make sure tree is not blocking an exit.
  • Keep it watered—If you have a real tree in your house this season, keep it watered. A tree that is not well watered is very dangerous and can turn into a fire hazard. It is best to water the tree every day and dispose of the tree after the holidays or when it is dry.
  • Turn off the lights—Always be sure to turn off the tree lights before going to bed or leaving the house.

Decoration Safety

  • Use step stools or ladders—Use step stools or ladders while putting up decorations. Keep ladders and decorations away from overhead power lines. Ensure the ladder is securely placed on the ground before climbing. Never stand on furniture as this can result in an injury.
  • Shoe safety—When putting up holiday lights and other decorations make sure to wear protective and sturdy shoes inside or outside of the house. No flip flops!
  • Check lights—Double check lights for frayed wires or cracks, and be sure there is a bulb in each socket. Discard and replace damaged strands. Indoor lights should not touch drapes, furniture or carpeting.
  • Extension cords— Prevent tripping by placing cords and decorations in low-traffic areas where they won’t be walked on. Avoid twisting, kinking or crushing cords. Use heavy-duty extension cords, and only use cords outdoors if they are designated for outdoor use. Avoid overloading extension cords by using no more than three sets of standard lights per cord. Do not hammer tacks or nails into the electrical cord when hanging lights. Instead, use clips to safely attach lights to the house.


Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in home and homeowners insurance, car and auto insurance, boat and yacht insurance, property insurance, umbrella insurance, valuables insurance for fine art, jewelry, wine, and more. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your high net worth risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Port Royal, Park Shore, Pelican Bay, The Moorings, Naples Beach, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Sanibel Island, Captiva, Fort Myers, Sarasota, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.