The holiday season is a busy and, often stressful, time of year. In between planning for events and reunions, shopping, and generally trying to take care of a hundred little things day to day, there is little breathing room. This hyperactivity can take a toll, potentially leading to some common disasters around the house during the holiday season. These can range from things like water damage from a leak or broken pipe to fire or smoke damage to your home from an electrical fire.
Household accidents, or at times disasters, are a fairly common occurrence during the holiday where the rush of too many things to do, existing problems, or simple accidents serve to cause a high likelihood of things going wrong. Here are a few common disasters that occur around the house and helpful tips for avoiding them this holiday season.
With holiday lights and decorations, overloading circuits is a common problem. Outdoor and indoor lighting displays can easily result in electrical surges that can damage outlets, wiring, and even lead to fires. Make sure to plug lights into power strips plugged into more than one outlet and avoid plugging in too many devices into a single power strip. Also, use surge protectors to reduce the risk of shorts.
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Water damage can occur from nearly anything and range in severity from mild to disastrous. From a small leak in the roof or a burst pipe, water damage can ruin the holiday season and, unfortunately, is not something you can entirely plan for. Preventing water damage at home comes down to making sure that pipes are insulated, cracks and weaknesses in the roof and foundation are sealed, and that plumbing fixtures, hoses, pipes, and valves are inspected for potential problems and fixed. If you notice a problem, have it fixed before it becomes a disaster.
One of the most common household disaster during the holidays is the fire. Like water damage, these range in severity, but a fire, unlike water, tends to destroy with more speed and severity. Fires from cooking, fireplaces, stoves, or an electrical malfunction are all common causes many from sheer negligence. Prevention comes largely in the form of awareness and basic precautions to safeguard appliances and electrical systems from fire risk.
While not typically a highly priority disaster to be resolved immediately, ice dams can lead to structural and water damage along the roof and walls of your home. During the winter, these can be a problem when heat accumulates in the attic, melts snow from the roof, and leads to runoff that refreezes along the eaves of the roof, near the rain gutters. Make sure your attic is well insulated and rain gutters are clear of debris so runoff water can flow freely to the ground. Ice dams can also be prevented by regularly clearing snow from the roof with a roof rake.