Keep home safe during holidays

Staff Reports

COLUMBUS — The Department of Commerce Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing knows the value of Ohioans’ homes. That’s why superintendent Anne M. Petit wants to provide home safety tips for the holidays.

Whether you are putting your home on the market to sell or hosting a holiday gathering, it is important to keep your sidewalks and driveways clear of any snow, ice or debris. The Department of Aging’s Steady U initiative found falls among older Ohioans have gone up in the past decade. Many times, they can be prevented by doing simple things like clearing your pathways in the winter and it also makes your home more inviting to guests.

You should also keep all pathways in your home clear and avoid using extension cords for holiday lights. Both are a fire and falling hazard.

While making your home inviting to some guests is part of the holiday spirit, it’s also important to keep away unwanted visitors. Taking a few precautionary steps can keep your home from getting burglarized:

• Do not put your tree and gifts near a window. This can show potential thieves that you have valuables easily accessible to them.

• Have packages delivered when you are home or to a place where someone can sign for them. Package burglaries increase during the holiday season.

• If you will be out of town, ask your local police department to drive by and check your home. Their presence alone can ward off a potential break in.

“Ultimately, the most valuable thing in your home is you and your family,” Petit said. “However, it’s important to protect both the occupants and your home so you can have a safe, happy holiday season.”

If your home will be listed for sale during the holidays, work with a real estate licensee to make sure everyone and everything will be safe. You can find a list of all licensees in Ohio at