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Tis the season to be careful

The festive season brings joy, laughter...and the potential for hazards. But with some smart strategies you can keep your home safe this Christmas.

Santa may not be the only visitor to your home this holiday season. Christmas is also a busy time for crooks, when the combination of absent owners and a home stocked with new gifts can be very lucrative for burglars.

Statistics from insurer NRMA show one in four Australian households have been burgled. Keep your home secure by installing quality locks on doors, and preferably windows too. Improved security can also lower your home insurance premiums. 

Keep garden tools and ladders locked away - these could be used to break into your home. If you're planning a vacation, ask the neighbours to leave their car in your driveway to create a lived in appearance. Check if they can collect your mail too.

Keep friends and family safe 

We're often so busy with the holiday preparations that it's easy to overlook home safety. Take a few minutes ahead of Christmas to make yours a safe festive season.

Christmas lights and candles are one of the great pleasures of this time of year. But with over 10,000 house fires in Australia annually, it's a pleasure that calls for sensible management.

If you've decorated the garden with festive lighting, remember that electricity and water don't mix. Be sure to switch lights off before watering plants, and only use lights certified for outdoor use. Inside your home, turn off all Christmas lights and extinguish candles before going to bed.

Be sun smart

Providing plenty of shaded areas in the garden and outdoor entertaining areas of your home can protect your guests from sunburn and heat stroke. Have lots of iced water and soft drinks available for your guests, and go easy on the alcohol. If you have a swimming pool, check that the gate and fencing is child-proof.

Above all, enjoy yourself. There's nothing more special than celebrating the festive season with those you love in the comfort of your own home.

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