Home Safety Tips: Staying Safe This Winter

Good Haul
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The winter season brings many changes to your home, including the addition of decorations, food, lighting, heating, and other things that could potentially put your safety at risk. Luckily, Good Haul has some tips on how you can keep your home safe this holiday season!

Fire Safety

Fires are one of the most common homeowner’s insurance claims. During the holiday season and throughout the winter, there are a few ways you can reduce your risk for fires:  

  • Never leave food that is cooking unattended. Fry with care; 52% of home cooking fires are ignited by fat, grease, or oil.
  • Keep lit candles on level surfaces clear of clutter and use sturdy holders. Blow candles out before they burn all the way down, especially ones in glass jars. Do not leave lit candles unattended.  
  • Inspect string lights before using them. If a string has frayed cords, replace it with a whole new set. If bulbs are cracked or burnt out, replace the individual bulbs before setting the lights up. Consider using a timer or smart outlet to control your lights, rather than keeping them on 24/7.
  • Have a professional inspect your furnace or fireplace regularly. Clean out air ducts, vents, and chimneys. If using a fireplace, soak hot ashes in water and place them in a metal container when you are finished.
  • Check the batteries on all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Ensure your fire extinguisher is not expired and place it in an easily accessible spot. The entire family should know where the extinguisher is and how to use it.  
4 candles

Decorative Dangers

Decorations can often be a hazard for children and pets. Ensure that anything that could be a choking hazard is placed where it can’t be accessed by the littles. Don’t place large decorations where they could block an exit. Common holiday plants can be potential hazards to pets – poinsettias, mistletoe, and holly can all be toxic to animals. Double check the plants you’re bringing into your home to make sure they are safe for everyone.

If you’re using a Christmas tree, hang all breakable ornaments higher than children and pets can reach. Make sure the tree is anchored in some way so it can’t fall over. Keep it away from heat sources, and if using a natural tree, be sure to water it regularly.

Weather Preparation

Be careful of weather-related injuries or damage. Ensure you are stocked up on shovels and sidewalk salt before a winter storm hits. If your doors and windows tend to get drafty, replace or install weather-stripping/seals to keep your home more comfortable. Keep an eye on pipes, especially outdoor plumbing, to avoid freezing. Wear sturdy footwear if there is snow or ice on the ground.  

winter road with snow, trees on side covered in snow

Safeguard Your Home

If you are travelling, it’s usually a good idea to create the illusion of an occupied home. There are a few ways you can accomplish this. Put your lights on timers and ask a neighbor to collect your mail and packages. Don’t leave valuables on display or visible through windows. Keep your travel plans offline, as announcing your plans could alert potential burglars to your home being empty. Utilize a home security system or cameras, if you have them. Consider hiring a shoveling service, if necessary.  

No matter how you celebrate, please consider some of these tips to help make sure that you and your family remain safe this holiday season! If you have unwanted decorations or furniture, schedule a pickup with Good Haul to remove those items and more!

Good Haul is Philadelphia’s only non-profit junk hauling business. All proceeds support Pathways to Housing PA and our programs. This fall, you can declutter your home, haul items away, and feel good while doing it. From single furniture item pickups to large scale cleanouts, Good Haul has you covered.  

In addition to finding new life for your stuff, Good Haul can provide tax donation receipts for any items you donate! We also offer flexible scheduling and competitive rates. Join us in creating a cleaner, greener, and more compassionate world. 


good haul workers loading the good haul truck