A snowy winter wonderland, especially during the holidays, is a magical thing. But while most of us are busy enjoying good food, good friends and plenty of fun, we sometimes overlook the dangers that this season brings.
From icy walkways to criminals targeting holiday shoppers, winter has a whole new set of dangers you need to be on the watch for. Use these five winter safety tips to help you keep your home, your holiday gifts, and your family and friends safe all season long.
Beware of Online Shopping Dangers
More than 230 million people in the U.S. shop online. If you’re a fan of browsing for Christmas gifts while relaxing on the couch, you know that there are plenty of deals to be scored on the web. But shopping online comes with a few risks you won’t deal with when you hit the stores in person.
To start, when you shop online, you’re credit card number and other personal information may be at risk. While your credit card can still be stolen from a brick-and-mortar store, the risk is higher on the web. There are a few things you can do to protect yourself and still score those great online deals. First, only shop reputable dealers. That incredible price from a website you’ve never heard of might just be a warning sign that something isn’t right. Monitoring your credit card charges is also important, regardless of where or how you shop. That way if something isn’t right, you can catch it and get your money back fast.
Protect Your Packages
Another risk of online shopping is packages getting stolen off of your front porch. A home security camera can help you keep an eye on your deliveries as they arrive. If something does get stolen, though, the footage captured can help the authorities to catch the porch thief. Also, simply placing your camera in a visible spot near your front door might also help to deter thieves in the first place.
Think Twice Before Warming Your Car
No one likes climbing into a freezing cold car, which is why many manufacturers now include remote starts as a standard feature. But think twice before utilizing that feature. While most of us know that starting a car in a closed garage is dangerous, some people believe that opening the garage door is enough to eliminate the threat.
Running a car in a garage with the door open for as little as two minutes can cause dangerous levels of carbon monoxide to form in the space.
Consider Your Garbage Habits
While online shopping might mean a risk of full packages getting stolen off of your front porch, your empty boxes pose just as much of a threat. Taking empty television, laptop, game system, pricey kitchen appliance and other boxes out for the trash lets criminals know exactly what’s in your home for the taking. Break down your boxes and place them in trash or recycling receptacles. This might mean storing some boxes and tossing them out a little at a time to make them all fit. You can also check with friends and family to see if anyone is in need of boxes for an upcoming move.
Light the Way for Visitors
If you have friends or family coming over for the holidays, make sure that you light the way to help them get from their cars to your front door. Whether it’s your decorative stones that are difficult to see at night or ice that has formed on your front steps, there are plenty of hazards that someone who isn’t familiar with your home might experience. A simple porch light can help with this. Plus, exterior lighting on your home can help deter thieves; if they can’t blend in with the night, they’ll hopefully skip over your home as a potential target.
From being careful about your online shopping to deterring thieves and keeping your friends and family safe, these winter safety tips are a must.