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Top 3 Holiday Hazards

A new study from insuranceQuotes has identified the top three holiday hazards to homes this holiday season: porch pirates, decoration vandals, and house fires. The survey was based on responses of more than 1,000 consumers.

“During the holidays, certain crimes and home hazards increase,” says Laura Adams, senior insurance analyst at insuranceQuotes. “Homeowners need to take precautions and make sure they have the right insurance to protect their finances. You could have packages delivered to your office or local locker—or use motion detectors, security systems, and light timers to fend off thieves.”

InsuranceQuotes outlines more details about the top three holiday hazards:

Porch Pirates

More online packages are arriving at homeowners’ doorsteps, which means more opportunities for thefts. Nearly 26 million Americans say they’ve had holiday packages stolen by porch pirates or thieves. That is up from 23.5 million porch thefts reported in 2015.

“Porch thieves know how many people are shopping online these days, and they know they have more opportunities to steal during this peak shopping season,” says Emily Long, security expert with ASecureLife. “They also know consumers can’t always stay home from work to collect packages when they arrive, and that makes those packages an easy target.”

Decoration Vandals

About 22.6 million Americans say they’ve had holiday decorations stolen or vandalized in the past year. To better protect their decor, 34 percent of surveyed homeowners said they’ve installed motion detectors; 30 percent installed a security system; and 25 percent installed automatic timers for their holiday lights.

House Fires

Nearly 13 million Americans have had a house fire caused by a fryer or cooking accident, according to insuranceQuotes’ analysis. Another 9.7 million have had a house fire caused by lit candles, and 6.5 million have had a house fire sparked by a Christmas tree.

“Like many holiday hazards, house fires are preventable,” Adams says. “Homeowners should clean grease from ovens and stovetops, keep candles in safe places, use newer lights to decorate, and keep Christmas trees at least three feet from heat sources. In addition, be familiar with your home or renters insurance policy.”