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  • Writer's pictureAndy Murphy

Holiday Safety Tips for 2020

Updated: Jan 6, 2021

How to Have a Safe, Happy Holiday Season

The holidays are approaching and in the year 2020, they can’t get here soon enough. We all need to have a happy holiday season this year.

And part of being happy is being safe so today I’m going to share with you three things we can all do to be safer this time of the year.

Holiday Lights

First up, when we travel we don’t need our homes to look like they’re empty. One of my favorite things about the movie Home Alone is the character Kevin goes to great lengths to make it look like he’s not well home… alone.

He makes it look like there’s a party going on with music, mannequins, and my favorite a Michael Jordan cut out moving around on a toy train. And the ruse worked for Kevin, the Wet Bandits didn’t break in that night.

When we travel we don’t need to go to the comical links that Kevin did in the movie. A few lights on timers will do the trick in reality.

You can add smart plugs to your lamps and even your fixtures to have the lighting change from time to time to make it appear that you are home. You can use WeMo plugs or Amazon smart plugs. I’ve had success with both.

Both products allow you to set up a timer function to turn the lights off and on. Now, this can go wrong if we overthink it.

The key is studying your lighting habits a few days before you leave and copying that pattern for your timer. You might fall into the temptation of making the lights turn off and on every 5 minutes and the result will look like a holiday light show. And that’s not what your house looks like normally.

If you get home at 5 pm and it’s dark you turn on the lights downstairs and they stay on until about 10 pm when the last person goes up for bed. That’s the lighting pattern you need to follow. Honestly less is more here.

Yule Need to Practice Fire Safety

I’m sorry for that pun, please keep reading.

Not all of the threats to our home are human. Don’t overlook the possibility of a fire during the holidays. Holiday fires can start from the fireplace, candles, cooking, and Christmas trees.

If you have a real tree up in your home please make sure to water it. You won’t believe how fast a dry tree will ignite. And when it goes up in flames, it’s more than you can handle with a home fire extinguisher. You’re going to need the professionals to put that fire out.

So let’s avoid that situation by watering your tree regularly. Set a reminder on your phone to water your tree every night and throw out any old tree lights that might spark a fire. That way the tree stays healthy and less flamey.

Watch the Candles

If you are going to celebrate the holidays with candles, make sure to keep flammable items like curtains and decorations at least three feet away from any open flames. And as always keep small children away from the candles and never leave them unattended… the candles and the kids.

Shopping Safety

When you are shopping out in public let’s not make ourselves look like an easy target for a mugging. Let’s keep our heads up, ears clear of devices, and always mind the behavior of those around us.

We can’t see a threat coming if our face in our phones or we are distracted. As you move from store to store, we need to keep our valuables concealed and our eyes up looking for anyone who is watching us.

While shopping, look at how many other people are NOT paying attention. See how easy it would be to sneak up on that person? Don’t do anything that would make you look like them.

Think like a bad guy for a few moments to see how people make themselves targets for crime and learn from them. If you can make yourself a little more aware of how the bad guys think, it will help keep you safer.

Of course, there is a lot more we can do to minimize problems this holiday season. That’s why I’m excited to share with you The Secure Dad Holiday Security Guide.

This free download has 12 pages of information on how to secure your home and protect yourself while you shop over the holidays.

I’ll tell you how social media can make you a bigger target for a crime, how to fend of porch pirates, and how to shop safely in person and online. So there’s a ton of good stuff here.


Andy Murphy

Andy Murphy founded The Secure Dad in 2016 with the aspiration to help families live safer, happier lives. What started as a personal blog about family safety has turned into an award-winning podcast, an Amazon best-selling book, and online courses. He focuses his efforts in the areas of home security, situational awareness, and online safety.


Andy is a husband and father. His interests include coaching youth basketball, hiking, and trying to figure out his 3D printer.

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