‘Tis may be the season to be jolly, but ‘tis should also be the season to prioritize your safety and security.
As much as we want the holidays to be as merry as can be, there are still Grinches out there (those with hearts two sizes too small) that take advantage of people this time of year.
So how can you protect your home and business from holiday hazards, such as theft, cyber-attacks, and fires?
Here are a few tips to help you stay safe and happy for the holidays.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, home fires during the winter holidays are usually caused by holiday decorations, candles, holiday cooking, and even Christmas trees. Protect your family and friends by practicing proper fire safety.
- Keep your candles in stable holders and out of reach from children. Make sure they’re not close to anything flammable (at least one-foot distance or more).
- Never leave candles, a fireplace, or appliances unattended. Either put the fire out/turn them off or have an attentive adult around.
- If you’re using an artificial tree, make sure to check the label if it’s fire-resistant.
- Do not burn wreaths or wrapping paper in your fireplace.
- Always use a fireplace screen to avoid fire accidents, especially when you have children or pets.
- Make sure your Christmas tree is at least 3 feet away from your fireplace, radiators, and other heat sources.
- Test your fire alarms if it’s working. If not, replace the batteries or get professional help.
- Have an emergency plan prepared for your business or family, in case of fires.
- Contact experts to make sure your shop or home does not have any fire hazards and have your fire security system installed.
- If you have an existing fire security system, make sure it’s functional and reliable.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, “there are about 160 decorating-related injuries each day, during the holiday season.” We know the holidays are exciting, but you can still show your enthusiasm while staying safe.
- Make sure your decorations aren’t fire hazards and kept away from heat or fire sources.
- Be mindful of where you hang your Christmas tree ornaments. Don’t hang the breakable ones near the bottom or where kids and pets can easily reach them.
- Make sure your extension cords are the right length and that you have enough for your decorations. Do not overload them by plugging in too many things.
- Know the difference between indoor and outdoor lights. Do not use fixtures in environments they are not designed to be used in.
- Replace light sets with broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections.
- Be careful how you hang your Christmas lights. Avoid using tacks, staples, or nails to hang them up. Instead, use insulated holders as a safer alternative.
- Don’t leave your lights on while you’re away or when your shop is closed.
HOME AND BUSINESS SECURITY
When C + R Research interviewed 2000 consumers this year, 23% of the respondents revealed that they have been the victims of package theft in 2021. They also found that 60% of them also know other people who have been victims of package theft during the holiday season.
Here are ways to protect your home and business from theft and other security threats:
- Track your online orders and be aware of their delivery days. Try to be home or alert someone at home about your upcoming deliveries. You can also invest in a package lockbox.
- Invest or upgrade your home or business security system. Use security cameras, alarms, video doorbells, etc. Most of these systems can be accessed on your mobile devices too.
- When closing your shop or leaving your home, don’t leave your key under the doormat or hide it around your house. Instead, leave it with a trusted neighbor, family member, or friend.
- If you’re traveling for the holidays, see if you can ask a trusted family member or friend to house-sit for you. You can ask an employee to keep an eye or visit your shop from time to time to check for possible damages or threats.
- Your best option against security threats is a reliable security system that fits your needs. Contact our security team for a free quote!
The World Economic Forum rated cyber attacks as the fifth top-rated risk in 2020. Even now, cyber attacks and threats are becoming more prevalent with the rise of online businesses and remote working. Here are tips to keep yourself and your business secure online:
- Shopping online? Double-check the website you’re shopping from (look for the padlock icon in the address bar), only pay with secure payment methods, and pay with credit cards for more liability protection.
- Avoid using WiFi in public spaces (or at least use a VPN).
- Be wary of email scams and pop-up ads.
- Regularly back up important data.
- Verify a shop’s credentials before making a purchase. Check if they have proper privacy policies and read their customer reviews properly.
- Keep your software updated. Software updates usually include upgraded security features.
- Add an extra layer of security to your business’ email accounts and website.
- Update and secure your log-in details, especially for websites that store your financial details. Use unique and strong passwords, as well as multi-factor authentication.
- Regularly check your financial records to monitor for suspicious spending.
- Consult an IT expert to help you fortify online security and devise a cybersecurity strategy for your business.
This holiday season, be more proactive in protecting your business and family from safety and security threats.
At Advanced Tech, we can help you fortify your home and business security, fire and electrical safety, as well as online security. Our experts are regularly trained and ready to help you find custom solutions for your needs.
Let Advanced Tech help you have safe and happy holidays! Contact us today!