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Consumer Alert - Holiday Safety

The holiday season is in full swing, and Commissioner Miller has some tips for consumers to protect their families, homes, and possessions.

Holiday decorations are fun and festive, but can potentially be hazardous to your home or loved ones if they are not flame resistant or retardant. Candles and open flames should be kept out of the reach of children and pets, and should not be left unattended. Additionally, trees and other holiday plants that are decorated with lights should be watered adequately, as dry greenery pose a greater risk of catching fire.

Make sure that your string lights are working properly, and consider replacing those with broken cords or loose bulbs. You should avoid connecting more than three strands of lights together, and be sure to turn lights off before leaving home or going to bed. 

For those hosting holiday parties, be aware that you can be held legally responsible for the actions of your guests after they leave a party, particularly if alcohol is served. Your homeowners or renters insurance policy may provide some liquor liability coverage, but you should review your policy and be aware of what limitations are involved.

Consumers who are giving or receiving expensive gifts like electronics, instruments, and others should review their homeowners or renters insurance policy to make sure that the value of these items to do not exceed the limits on the contents portion of the policy.

Most homeowners insurance policies also have specific lower limits for valuables such as jewelry, furs, and firearms, so you may want to discuss with your insurance professional whether or not your coverage is sufficient. Be mindful of where you place expensive gifts, and keep these away from windows.

More information on homeowners insurance is available on our Homeowners page.

Have a safer and happy holiday!