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Get Your Home Ready for Liability Issues During the Holidays

During the holidays, many of us open our homes to family, friends, and even strangers. In addition, we are often receiving more packages and greeting more delivery personnel at our doors as holiday packages and deliveries arrive. However, extra traffic in your home can mean more property liability concerns. If someone has a slip and fall accident on your property or harms themselves on your property, you could face unpleasant legal problems as well as personal worry. You don’t need the extra stress during this time of year. To keep everyone visiting your property safe this year, follow these steps:

1) Take a stroll around your property with an eye to any damage or possible safety risks. Look at your roof, your walkways, and the yard in front and behind your home. Take a look inside, where stairs may be a problem. Do you see any dangers that need repairing? Uneven walkways, poorly lit door areas, low-hanging ornaments at the entryway – all of these things can cause serious personal injury. Take care of them now, before someone gets hurt. Also, if you own a pool, take a moment to ensure that the pool area is securely closed up and safe for the season.

2) Hire someone to keep your property carefully trimmed or take care of tidying your property yourself. Keeping your property free of objects and debris that can cause a slip and fall accident is vital. Overgrown bushes, low-hanging branches and scattered toys can cause a serious accident, as can wet leaves, rain, and other weather conditions. Keep your property safe and tidy or hire a service to take care of the property for you.

3) Keep your property well lighted if you reasonably expect someone may drop by. If you expect visitors or if you are receiving packages or deliveries due to the holiday season, turn on your outdoor lights promptly after dark so that delivery personnel and visitors do not have to trip their way to your door in the dark.

4) Make a plan to prevent drunk driving accidents. If you are serving alcohol at holiday parties, make sure that guests can get home safely. Do not allow guests who have been drinking to drive home. Offer rides home from designated drivers or set up sleeping areas for guests who have imbibed too much good cheer. These simple steps can help ensure that loved ones remain healthy and safe.

5) If you plan on traveling during your holiday, secure your property. If you will travel during the holidays, place a hold on your mail, newspaper, and usual deliveries. Put your lights on timers or have a trusted friend drop by to check on your home periodically. You do not want someone ruining your holiday with a break-in and you do not want someone wandering onto your property and harming themselves.

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