Tips to avoid common holiday hazards, including package theft

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If your holiday has ever felt like a Meet the Fockers movie, you’re not alone!

A study conducted last year by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, (commissioned by, asked 1,000 Americans to recall perilous incidents they had experienced during the holidays. Some of the hazards included:

  • package theft
  • injuries to house guests
  • weather-related driving accidents
  • decorating disasters
  • cooking-related fires.

Based on the research, the study estimated that millions of Americans face threatening holiday hazards every year.

Most prevalent and dangerous holiday hazards:

  • 23 million Americans have had packages stolen from their porch
  • 7 million Americans have had a guest injured in their home
  • 16 million Americans have experienced a house fire due to cooking
  • 2 million Americans have experienced a house fire caused by Christmas trees and other decorations
  • 47 million Americans have experienced a sewer backup during the holiday season

Read more: Beware of fake shopping apps that will steal your money!

Winter weather

In addition, winter weather poses a significant threat to safety as ice and snow start blanketing a good part of the country. Nearly 52 million Americans have been in a car accident due to snow, ice or rain. On top of that, 30 million have been in an accident due to heavy traffic, 21 million due to speeding, and 5 million due to drinking before driving.

Watch: 11 things you should always keep in your car

Package Pirates

A crime that is becoming very common is theft of packages on porches — called ‘package pirating’ —  as people begin ordering Christmas gifts and other items at a much greater frequency to be shipped to their home. Based on the survey, an estimated 23 million Americans have had packages stolen from their porch. Check out the tips below to keep your packages from being stolen this Christmas!

How to be safe this holiday season

Allstate Insurance agency owner Frank Torres says, ‘While some hazards are hard to predict, we often see jumps in certain claims during the holiday season. During the holidays, just a few simple steps can make a world of difference in keeping your home safe from harm.’

Check out the following tips to make sure you and your family will be safe this holiday season!

Package delivery:

  • Take advantage of delivery alert apps on your phone (We have a list available here!)
  • When possible, have your packages delivered to your office or a friend or neighbor’s house who will be home during the day.
  • If a retailer allows it, select a specific time for delivery when you will be home.
  • Install a video surveillance system like Ring so you can answer the door remotely.

Read more: Apps to find the best deals and make holiday shopping easier


Driving tips:

  • Don’t ever drink before you get behind the wheel! Stay at a friend’s house, take a taxi, or request Uber or Lyft to get home.
  • If possible, avoid travel during heavy ice or snow. Nothing is more important than your safety!
  • Make sure you are aware and awake when you drive – and never, ever text while driving!

Read more: 5 ways to keep your car secure while holiday shopping

Avoiding fires:

  • Be sure when lighting candles to place them far away from any holiday decor, or use flameless candles.
  • When using any Christmas lights from previous seasons, make sure there are no cracked cords or frayed ends.
  • Use only noncombustible or flame-resistant decorations.
  • Be sure your Christmas tree is secured tightly to the base, or if you are using an artificial tree, that is it made of non-combustible materials.
  • Keep an eye on all of your cooking and keep decor away from cooking areas to avoid fire hazards.
  • Make sure you have smoke detectors installed in every bedroom and on every level of your home.

Nothing is more important than the safety of you, your friends and your family during the holidays. So make sure to pass along these tips to family and friends in order to have a safe and merry holiday season!

Read more: 12 things your homeowners insurance probably doesn’t cover

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