Santa Claus isn’t the only one traveling during the holiday season; many of you will be adding points to frequent flier miles, hitting the roads, or “walking over the river and through the woods.” Wherever you are traveling and however you choose to get there, it is important to keep a few safety tips in mind.
Home: Leaving your house makes it vulnerable to break-ins. Take precautions so you can come back to your house the way you left it.
- Be sure to hold your mail and newspapers while you are gone. This is free to do and only takes a phone call. A pile of mail or newspapers is a dead give away for a vacant house.
- Unplug your electronics to save energy and increase electrical safety.
- Set your lights on timers. If you do this, your house looks more lived in, discouraging burglars.
- Turn off the main water supply to your house. It can save you thousands of dollars by preventing leaks that may be caused by frozen water in the pipes. Even if the pipes aren’t in danger of freezing, a leak can happen, and without someone there to notice it, serious damage can occur.
- Turn your thermostat down (around 50°F is recommended) while you are gone to save energy, but don’t turn your heat completely off. This may cause pipes to freeze.
- Although you may want to share your excitement about vacation and the holidays with the world via social media, you should refrain from doing so. It becomes an announcement that you aren’t home and your house is up for grabs. Be smart about what you post.
- Of course, always make sure your windows and doors are locked.
Airport: Flying can be stressful and hectic during the holidays; however, there are some things you can do to have a safe, smooth trip.
- Don’t leave a portable GPS in your car during long-term parking at the airport. It leaves a convenient map to your house.
- Make sure your children know to not make jokes or false threats about security.
- Listen to airport officials.
- Be familiar with rules of the airport.
- Pack necessary items in your carry on in case your luggage is lost.
- Leave your valuables at home so you don’t draw attention to yourself.
- Be sure that you have all appropriate IDs and copies of your IDs.
- Don’t wrap gifts until you arrive at your destination. If you get pulled for a search, TSA agents will open the packages.
Car: Winter weather can cause new challenges while driving. You should always be cautious when snow falls or freezing temperatures occur. Remember: “ Ice and snow, take it slow, or just don’t go.”
- Make sure your tire treads are not worn down. During winter weather, traction is important. You can even purchase snow tires, made for snowy, icy roads.
- Be sure that your window wipers are working appropriately for maximum vision. To increase visibility, you can also put anti-icing windshield washing fluid in your car.
- Make sure your brakes are working effectively.
- Be on the lookout for black ice. It is a real danger, especially in shady spots, on bridges, on ramps and intersections.
- Always remember to drive with caution, especially if roads are bad. In winter weather, make sure to keep a safe distance from other cars. It takes longer to stop on slippery roads.
- Pay attention to weather reports to learn more about driving conditions.
- To stay in control when driving on slippery or snowy roads, don’t use cruise control, avoid sudden movements, and brake smoothly, not abruptly.
Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season! Piedmont EMC offices will be closed December 24th and 25th. Employees will be on call.