DALLAS, Dec. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Allstate's fourth annual national holiday home hazards surveyi reveals first-time homeowners are often slightly ahead of their more experienced counterparts, as well as renters, when it comes to preparing their homes for potential holiday hazards. Still, each group has room for improvement.
When it comes to Texas, Allstate found the following hazards have large spikes during the holiday seasonii:
- Smoke from fireplace increases by 655 percent.
- Burst pipes from freezing increases by 309 percent.
- Missing property from garage increases by 170 percent.
"With so much focus on shopping, decorating, making holiday meals and other preparations, people may overlook simple, but important safety steps to protect their homes," said Lilla Wright, Allstate agency owner in Houston. "Now is a great time to make sure your home is safe and secure, so you can enjoy a hazard-free holiday with friends and loved ones."
Deck the Halls to Prevent Hazards
A few precautionary measures can better protect homeowners and their holiday guests. Allstate's survey found:
- Unalarmed about alarms. Just 56 percent of first-time homeowners, compared to only 47 percent of more experienced homeowners and 37 percent of renters, have tested or plan to test their smoke alarms and/or carbon monoxide detectors to prepare their homes for the holidays.
- Fearless about freezing. Only 56 percent of experienced homeowners and 44 percent of renters typically keep their homes heated above 65 degrees to prevent pipes from freezing, although this is common practice for 62 percent of first-time homeowners.
'Tis the Season for Theft. Nearly 60 percent of consumers will do their holiday shopping online, with the majority taking advantage of free delivery, according to the National Retail Federation.iii More than 20 million Americans have had deliveries swiped from their doorsteps, according to a study conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International.iv
- Packages for the taking. Nearly four in 10 homeowners – both first-time and experienced – frequently allow delivered packages to be left out on their porch or stoop. About three in 10 renters do the same.
- Nobody home. Just 16 percent of first-time homeowners, 17 percent of renters and 27 percent of experienced homeowners say they plan to stop their mail and/or newspaper delivery before taking a holiday trip.
Allstate's Top 10 Tips for Holiday Home Safety
To help make the holidays festive, joyful and safe, visit Allstate's Holiday Decorator for a fun, interactive lesson on how to avoid disasters that can come with decking out your home. Other tips to protect against potential holiday hazards include:
- Install new batteries in and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Inspect the inside and outside of your home for leaks or other needed repairs to avoid home damage and insurance claims.
- To prevent frozen pipes, keep your home heated above 65 degrees and open cabinet doors to expose pipes to warm air.
- Have chimneys and furnaces inspected annually before the holidays to make sure they're safe for use.
- Read the fine print on your holiday lights to avoid overloading outlets or power strips, and when lighting up the outside of your home, only use lights and extension cords specified for outdoor use.
- Schedule deliveries for when someone will be home – or have packages delivered to a neighbor or friend who is home during the day.
- Routinely lock your home and vehicle, even if you're only leaving for a short time.
- Stop mail and newspaper deliveries during holiday travel, or have a friend or neighbor pick them up daily.
- Avoid "checking in" to vacation locations or activities on social media.
- Wait until you return home to post photos and/or video of your holiday trip, and ask family and friends not to tag you on vacation photos they post while you're away.
The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer, protecting approximately 16 million households from life's uncertainties through auto, home, life and other insurance offered through its Allstate, Esurance, Encompass and Answer Financial brand names. Now celebrating its 85th anniversary as an insurer, Allstate is widely known through the slogan "You're In Good Hands With Allstate®." Allstate agencies are in virtually every local community in America. In 2015, The Allstate Foundation, Allstate, its employees and agency owners gave $36 million to support local communities.
iThe 2016 Allstate Holiday Home Hazards survey was conducted by FTI Consulting from October 6-16, 2016. The survey was conducted among N=1,015 adults (home/condo owners and renters) and an oversample of N=224 first-time home or condo owners who purchased their very first home in the past year.
iiPercentage change based on holiday season versus non-holiday season homeowners, condo and renters claim frequency for Texas during the three-year period of Jan. 15, 2013-Jan. 15, 2016, with the holiday season from Nov. 15-Jan. 15. Only hazards that occurred at least 10 times during the three-year period, with positive and statistically significant percentage changes, were included.
iii National Retail Federation, https://nrf.com/media/press-releases/retailers-prepare-post-election-holiday-shopping
iv InsuranceQuotes.com, http://www.insurancequotes.com/home/holiday-hazards-120215
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