Tips for keeping safe this holiday season
The festive season is here, and for some, it's time to head away on a well-deserved break.
Before you do, take a look at our tips to help keep what's important to you safe these holidays.
The suns out, tees and shorts are on, and those summer barbecues have begun. This can only mean one thing - the festive season is here.
For some, it's time to pack the car and head off on a well-deserved trip with family and friends. But before you do, take a look at our holiday tips to keep what's important to you safe over the festive break.
Keep the grinches away
An easy way to scare off any thieves these holidays is by installing a security alarm if you haven't got one already. There are some great gadgets available, such as cameras that connect to your smartphone, which is perfect if you're away from home.
You don't want it to be obvious that you're away with piled up mail, so ask a neighbour to check your letterbox regularly so it seems like someone is home. It's also a good idea to not advertise your holiday on social media and keep your friends list tight!
If the unfortunate happens and you return home to a burglary, our blog 'What to do if your home has been burgled' will give you some tips on what to do first and help you through this tough time.
Be BBQ safe this summer
There's nothing like getting together with friends and family over summer and enjoying a classic Kiwi barbie. If you're firing up the BBQ this summer, check out our safety blog to use your bbq safely. Here are just some of the helpful tips we put together:
- Make sure you leave plenty of clear space around your BBQ, so nothing catches fire.
- Clean the grill after each use, and make sure it's completely cool before putting the cover back on.
Switch off the fairy lights
Before you head out for the day or head off to bed each night, make sure to switch off any decorative lights at the wall socket as they are a potential fire hazard if they develop a fault. It's important to replace any lights that have frayed wires or broken sockets, and only ever use lights that are designed for use in New Zealand and fitted with an NZ plug.1
This counts for your standard household lights too. Timers on your lights are great to use to make it look like someone is home and provide your home with security to deter any thieves. There are many options available to suit your budget, from manual timers to ones that allow you to turn the lights on and off at the touch of your smartphone.
Damaged lights are a hazard and it's important you do what you can to avoid an electrical fire. Take a look at our 'Power up your plugs like a pro' blog for simple tips to keep your home and valuables safe.
Do a final check
Before closing the door and heading away, do a full check of your property. Turn off appliances at the wall plug to save on your power bull and avoid any unexpected electrical faults, set your lights' timers, switch on the alarm, and check that all your windows and doors are locked.
Look out for festive fraudsters
If you're doing any last-minute gift shopping online, be cyber aware. Websites with 'https' at the beginning of the URL let you know it's secure. If you receive an email you're not sure about, don't click on any of its links.
For more tips, check out 'Own your Online', a website created by Cert NZ to raise understanding of cyber security issues. Online security attacks are becoming more common, and following their steps will help you reduce your online risks.
Don't forget your pawsome friends
New Years Eve is a notorious time to let off celebratory fireworks, but these can be frightening for our pets. You can make things a little easier for them by:
- Walking them early and for longer to tire them out.
- Close your blinds once the sun sets.
- Create a safe space with comfy blankets.
- Have their favourite treats handy.
If you plan to indulge in a little chocolate over the festive season, keep it tucked away from your furry friends. Chocolate is highly poisonous for animals, even the smallest amount, and you'll need to seek help from your vet straight away if you find your pet has tucked into your stash.2
Keep the exploring to a minimum
Cats are known explorers, so if you have a Christmas tree up make sure it has a heavy base to keep it from falling over, and avoid breakable ornaments around the house. For puppies (who are notorious for chewing everything!) make sure you hang your Christmas lights nice and high to avoid any accidental electric shocks.
Stick close to routines
Pets can become a bit unsettled over the busy holiday season with changes to the usual routine. Try and stick to the same drill every day, but if you can't, make sure to check on them regularly and give them plenty of attention. Have a read of our 'Tips to help your furry friends enjoy a safe and relaxing holiday' and avoid any confusion or stress on your pets these holidays.
Driving over the holidays?
The holidays make our roads busy so give yourself plenty of time to travel and take it slow. It's a good idea to get your car ready before you head out, checking things like the oil level and tyre pressure. If you're going to be driving a long distance, plan for your journey with our useful tips here.
As the holiday break approaches, make sure to prioritise the safety of yourself, your loved ones, and your home. Following this simple guide will help you kick off the season relaxed and enjoying the sunshine, knowing you've taken the steps to help keep what's important to you safe.