WASHINGTON, D.C. — If Santa and his reindeer do not make a smooth landing on your roof this year, call your insurance company first to report any damages. Additionally, as families are decorating to make their homes merry and bright this holiday season, damage to roofs and property is possible if lights and other décor are not installed or removed properly. If the décor rivals Clark Griswold in holiday spirit, there is also a greater risk of fire.
“The holidays are a joyous time of year, but they also bring an increased risk of hazards to your family and property,” said Nicole Mahrt-Ganley, Senior Director of Public Affairs for the American Property Casualty Insurance Association. “Insurers urge homeowners to keep their homes and families safe during the holiday season. If your property is inadvertently damaged, call your insurer first to avoid falling victim to contractor fraud and abuse, such as through Assignment of Benefits schemes.”
According to the National Fire Protection Association, electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in 44 percent of home Christmas tree fires, and home fires that began with Christmas trees or holiday decorations caused a combined $22 million in direct property damage between 2013-2017. These statistics underscore the importance of homeowners taking the necessary safety precautions as they prepare for Santa’s arrival, such as using a freshly cut or fire resistant artificial tree, turning off all indoor and outdoor lights before bed to prevent overheating, keeping Christmas trees away from heat sources like candles and avoiding overloading electrical outlets. It is also critically important to ensure smoke detectors are working properly and to inspect electrical cords to make sure they are not cracked or frayed.
Periods of cold weather and powerful winter storms during the holidays also pose a variety of threats to homes and businesses such as burst or frozen water pipes, leaking hot water heaters and falling trees or limbs. Visit the American Property Casualty Insurance Association’s Winter Storm Headquarters for information and resources on protecting your property throughout the winter season.
For more tips on avoiding contractor fraud and abuse, click here.