The holiday season is a time for joy, unity and celebration. Homes are adorned with twinkling lights, fragrant pine trees and the laughter of loved ones. However, amidst all the merriment, safety concerns are as real as ever. Preventive measures can ensure that your home remains a haven of happiness during this special time of year. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore a variety of holiday home safety tips, covering everything from winter weather safety to home security and more to help you and your family have a cozy holiday season.

10 Home Safety Tips for the Holidays

Home Safety Tips for the Holidays

Before diving into the specifics, let's set the stage for a safe and healthy holiday season. Here are some general tips to keep in mind:

  • Test Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Ensure that your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order and replace the batteries if needed.

  • Inspect Heating Systems: If you use a fireplace, wood stove or space heater, have them inspected to prevent fire hazards. WIN’s Fireplace and Chimney Inspection thoroughly checks your flue and other areas of your chimney for creosote build-up – a natural fire starter.

  • Keep Pathways Clear: Clear snow and ice from driveways and walkways to prevent slips and falls.

  • Prepare for Emergencies: Gather an emergency kit with essential supplies like flashlights, batteries, blankets, first aid supplies, water and non-perishable food items.

  • Secure Windows and Doors: Check your locks and replace them if necessary. Consider installing a security system or smart doorbells for added safety.

  • Childproof Your Home: If you have young children visiting or living in your home during the holidays, lock cabinets containing hazardous materials, cushion sharp corners and secure furniture prone to tipping. Also be mindful of where you put your holiday decorations as they could be a choking hazard if in reach.

  • Be Cautious of Candles: Use flameless LED candles to create a cozy atmosphere without fire risk.

  • Practice Safe Cooking: Keep an eye on the stove while cooking, and ensure flammable items are away from the oven and burners.

  • Dispose of Wrapping Paper Safely: Keep wrapping paper, tissue paper, ribbons, and bows away from the fireplace as it can cause intense fires.

  • Limit Decorative Lights Usage: Avoid overloading electrical outlets with too many decorative lights and turn them off when you go to bed or leave the house.

Safe Home Decorating Ideas

Decorating your home is a classic holiday tradition, but it can pose serious safety risks. Here's how to stay safe while decking the halls.

  • Choose Fire-Resistant Decorations: Opt for decorations made of non-combustible materials to reduce fire risk.

  • Check Lights and Cords: Inspect holiday lights for frayed wires or damaged sockets and replace any faulty lights.

  • Keep Decorations Away from Heat Sources: Ensure decorations are placed away from candles, heaters and fireplaces.

  • Secure Decorations: Prevent tripping hazards by securing rugs, wires and extension cords.

  • Use Stable Ladders: When hanging decorations, use a sturdy ladder placed on level ground to avoid falls.

  • Prepare for Elderly Guests: If you have elderly family members visiting, make sure their living space is safe and accessible by installing appropriate ramps and lifts and ensuring non-slip rugs.

  • Prevent Trips and Falls: Eliminate tripping hazards such as loose rugs and cluttered walkways.

  • Keep Medications out of Reach: Keep medications out of the reach of children and administer them as prescribed.

Winter Weather Safety Tips for Homeowners

Winter weather can bring its own set of challenges. Here are some tips to help you navigate the colder months.

  • Insulate Pipes: Prevent frozen pipes by insulating them and keeping a small, steady water flow on extremely cold nights.

  • Service Your Furnace: Regularly maintain your heating system to ensure it functions efficiently and safely.

  • Seal Leaks: Seal gaps and cracks around windows and doors to keep the cold air out and the warm air in. Gaps and cracks can also increase your energy use, driving up your monthly energy bill.

  • Stock Up on Winter Supplies: Keep a healthy supply of salt, sand or cat litter for de-icing walkways and driveways.

  • Have an Emergency Kit: Prepare a winter emergency kit with warm blankets, extra clothing and non-perishable food.

Electrical Safety Tips

Electrical Safety Tips

The holiday season often involves a surge in electrical usage. Follow these tips to prevent electrical mishaps:

  • Avoid Overloading Outlets: Don't overload power strips or outlets with too many devices or decorations.

  • Use Outdoor-Rated Extension Cords: For outdoor decorations, only use extension cords rated for outdoor use.

  • Turn Off Decorative Lights: Remember to turn off decorative lights when you go to bed or leave the house.

  • Unplug Unused Devices: Unplug devices and chargers when they're not in use to reduce the risk of electrical fires.

  • Be Mindful of Extension Cords: Don't run extension cords under rugs or in high-traffic areas where they can be damaged.

Preventing Holiday Fire Hazards

Fire safety should be a top priority during the holidays. Take these precautions to reduce the risk of fires:

  • Install Smoke Alarms: Ensure smoke alarms are installed in every bedroom and on every floor of your home. Be sure to test them frequently.

  • Keep Fire Extinguishers Handy: Have fire extinguishers readily available in key areas of your home, especially the kitchen.

  • Water the Tree: If you have a live Christmas tree, keep it well-watered to prevent it from drying out and becoming a fire hazard.

  • Don't Leave Candles Unattended: Never leave burning candles unattended, keep them out-of-reach of children and pets, and don’t have burning candles near flammable holiday decorations.

  • Stay in the Kitchen: When cooking, stay in the kitchen at all times to prevent kitchen fires.

Pet Safety During the Festive Season

Don't forget about your furry family members during the holidays. Keep your pets safe with these tips:

  • Secure the Tree: Make sure your Christmas tree is securely anchored to prevent it from toppling if your pet investigates.

  • Avoid Toxic Plants: Keep toxic plants, like poinsettias and mistletoe, out of your pet's reach.

  • Be Mindful of Decorations: Pets may be tempted to chew on decorations, so place fragile or harmful ornaments higher up.

  • Watch the Tinsel: Tinsel is enticing to cats but can lead to digestive issues.

  • Limit Table Scraps: Avoid feeding pets table scraps as some may be toxic to them.

Holiday Home Security

While the holidays are a time of joy, burglars see them as a time of opportunity. Here are some holiday home security tips to protect your home and valuable this season.

  • Notify Neighbors: Let trusted neighbors know if you're traveling and ask them to keep an eye on your home.

  • Use Timers: Install timers on indoor and outdoor lights to give the illusion someone is home.

  • Secure Doors and Windows: Double-check that all doors and windows are locked before leaving.

  • Don't Advertise Travel Plans: Avoid posting about your holiday travel plans on social media.

  • Install Security Cameras: Consider installing security cameras to deter potential intruders.

Home Inspection for a Safe and Healthy Home During Holidays

One proactive step you can take to ensure your home and family's safety during the holidays is to schedule a Healthy Home Check. A Healthy Home Check is a preventive home inspection service offered by WIN (Your Local Home Inspection Company), designed to identify potential safety hazards and provide recommendations for addressing them. This comprehensive assessment covers critical areas of your home such as electrical systems, heating, plumbing, and appliances, helping you create a safer and healthier living environment for your loved ones and holiday guests.


The holiday season is a time for making cherished memories with family and friends. By following these holiday home safety tips and being mindful of potential hazards, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable festive season. From winter weather safety to childproofing your home and safeguarding your pets, every precaution you take contributes to a happier and healthier holiday experience. Enjoy a safe and wonderful holiday season with the peace of mind that comes from knowing your home is secure and healthy.