New Poll Reveals Which Hazards Increase During Holidays
Allstate finds homeowners not quite prepared for holiday home hazards
Festive, joyful and togetherness are just a few words that come to mind when thinking about the holidays. However, a new Allstate poll shows “hazardous” should be at the top of the list, too.
Allstate’s fourth annual national holiday home hazards survey The 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.
reveals homeowners as well as renters aren’t prepared as they could when it comes to protecting their homes during the holidays. Some of the most common pitfalls are leaving temptations for “porch pirates” and sharing too much on social media. (See details below). And in Southern States* specifically, Allstate found the following hazards have the largest spikes during the holiday seasonPercentage change based on holiday season versus non-holiday season homeowners, condo and renters claim frequency for *Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi 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. :
- Bursting Pipes from Freezing
- Fire originating from a fireplace
- Smoke damage from Kitchen
- Ice Dams
- Glass breakage
“With so much focus on shopping, gift giving and making holiday meals and other preparations, people may overlook simple, but important safety steps to protect their homes,” said Steve Blume, Allstate agency owner. A few precautionary measures can better protect the hosts and their guests:
- Test smoke alarms and/or carbon monoxide detectors
- Inspect home interiors and exteriors (including windows, roofs, gutters and chimneys) for leaks and damage.
- Keep your home heated above 65 degrees to prevent pipes from freezing
- Limit the number of lights per outlet or power strip to prevent a live Christmas tree fire.
- Place a live tree away from heat sources to minimize fire risk
Not taking proper precautions can lead to costly damage. Allstate claims data shows the median cost of bust pipes from freezing was $5,500, fire-related fires was $10,149 and electrical fires was $22,683.
Holiday trips also may become holiday home hazards as travelers often leave behind opportunities for theft.
- Consider stopping your mail and/or newspaper delivery before taking a holiday trip.
- Ensure all doors and windows are locked before leaving on a holiday trip (Only about 77% of homeowners and renters plan to do this).
- Lock all vehicles left in their driveway or garage.
Think no one will notice you’re not home? Think again. Allstate found the following happens more frequently during the holidays:
- Missing Property from garage increases 37% during the holidays (median cost $1,697)
- Burglary increases 6% (median cost $2,911)
- Theft from unlocked vehicles increases 2% (median cost $1,177)
SOCIAL MEDIA SHARING – Oversharing can send a message to criminals that a home may be unoccupied. Those who post on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and other popular sites should think twice before:
- Sharing pictures of yourself at holiday travel destinations
- Sharing details of travel itinerary, such as being at the airport or on their way home
- Showing off presents
Taking a few simple steps can be the difference between the holidays being happy and memorable for all the right reasons.