Preparing Your House for the Holidays

The perfect gift this season is confidence

The holidays are about bringing family and friends together to laugh and relax. Taking simple precautions around your home can give you the reassurance you need to enjoy the season safely, whether you’re staying home or traveling.

Check out a few tips from the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) to help you protect your house while you enjoy the season, and safeguard against common problems.

Preparing for the holidays

  • Light safety: Make sure you inspect the safety of your holiday lights and discard any that show wear. When arranging lights for your tree, make sure you use indoor-specific extension cords, and avoid running cables under carpeting. Finally, avoid attaching multiple extension cords together as this can pose a serious fire hazard.
  • Check your detectors: Take a few minutes before the holidays to test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure that they’re working correctly. Consider installing fresh batteries if you haven't done so in the past 6 to 12 months.
  • The coast is clear: Make sure you keep sidewalks and stairways shoveled, and free of snow and ice. This helps prevent holiday visitors from slipping and injuring themselves, and may also increase your chances of getting holiday carolers at the door!
  • Be prepared: Review your emergency escape plan for your house, and update your emergency kits in your car and at home, to ensure you have a safe season with friends and family. Remember, a first-aid kit can go a long way if unexpected things happen this winter.
  • Winter warmth: If you are traveling, keep the heat on in your house at a lowered level as there is a risk of frozen pipes if you turn your heat off entirely. As well, have a trusted friend or neighbour come by to collect mail and fliers, water plants and generally make sure your house is okay. These actions can help reduce any concerns you may have about the safety and security of your house.
  • Take an inventory: It’s very helpful to document what you have in your house, in case you need to make an insurance claim due to a break-in or water damage. Take photos of gifts you are giving or have received, as well as related receipts, and consider storing the photos on an external hard drive, or in the Cloud for easy digital access. Keep important documents such as proof-of-ownership, bills and personal records in a safe, secure place, and make digital back-ups.
  • Finally, review your policy: Understand exactly what your insurance policy covers. If you have any questions or are unsure of any steps you may need to take if you're going to be away, feel free to call us and discuss your policy with a TD Insurance Advisor.

Remember, having adequate insurance can help you stay confident that you're protected while at home or away!

For more information and best practices around seasonal safety, visit the Canada Safety Council. If you have general questions about your insurance, contact a TD Insurance Advisor.

Insurance Bureau of Canada. Ho! Ho! Home Safety Tips to Ensure a Happy Holiday Season. Retrieved Oct 26, 2017, from

Canada Safety Council. Home Fire Safety Tips for the Holidays. Retrieved Oct 26, 2017, from