Energy Ogre is committed to ensuring our members have a safe, secure, energy-efficient, and inexpensive holiday season. Our staff, to remix Bing Crosby’s famous hit song, is “dreaming of a
white smart and safe Christmas.”
The holidays should be fun, family-filled, and memorable. These memories should be reminiscent of good times, not overspending, damage to your home, theft, and other tragedies that loom over the holiday seasons of some.
Too often, homes catch fire and are burglarized during this time of year. These tragedies quickly transform yuletide cheers into holiday-time jeers. Think of “Home Alone” or “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”…except the circumstances are not nearly as funny when they happen to you, a friend, or a family member.
We’ve compiled a list of topics to consider that may help ensure a smooth, successful, and financially responsible holiday season.
Bankrate published a comprehensive article about various holiday fire hazards and how to prevent them. Within their report, you will learn house fires are particularly dangerous at this time of year because of extra decorations clad with faulty lights, dangerously positioned heaters, and candles burning around flammable items. Approximately 890 people die from holiday fires each year, and $2 billion worth of property damage is caused, according to a FEMA-supported report. Interestingly, cooking is the leading cause of house fires during the season, most of which occur between 5-8 p.m. Also worth noting, live trees should be watered each day to ensure they are properly hydrated because dry trees are much more flammable. This practice, which is illustrated in this video, can drastically lower the likelihood of a decorated tree catching fire.
Theft and Burglary
Holiday break-ins are unfortunately common today. This problem is exacerbated by the prevalence of online shopping. Since valuable packages are vulnerable outside a home until the intended recipient receives it, thieves are able to take advantage and steal the unattended shipments. It’s also worth considering that most homes have wrapped gifts under their Christmas tree. If your tree is easily visible from a window or front door, your chances of being robbed are increased. Those traveling this month should consider some of Security Nerd’s 13 tips to protect their home. Additionally, Excite Home Security offers tips that keep homes secure this holiday season even if you don’t have travel plans. If you’re looking to integrate some added security measures to your house, then check out this list from This Old House.
Fortunately for us, Texas weather, though unpredictable, isn’t as cold as other places throughout the country. However, winter temperatures can dip below freezing, which can cause substantial pipe damage if you don’t take proper precautions. Once the temperature starts dropping outside, you should take measures inside to keep your pipes warm and water running. Research conducted by at the University of Illinois shows that the temperature alert threshold is 20° F. This alert threshold especially applies to those with uninsulated pipes running through uninsulated spaces.
By now, many Texans have adorned their homes with bright, flashing lights, reindeer, and other holiday-themed trinkets. If you’re one of those decorative people, we hope you’re using LED lights in and around your home. The New York Times reports that Americans consume 6.6 billion kilowatt-hours per year using holiday lights. That amount is almost enough electricity to power a city like San Francisco, California, for an entire year. Using LED lights can lower energy costs by 70 percent compared to traditional bulbs. These lights will also last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. You can also manage your holiday electricity usage by setting your lights on timers. If setting up timers is not feasible, then you can simply turn on your lights for a specific time frame each night.
Buy Gifts with Cash/Debit Card
Too often people shop online or visit their favorite store, overindulging thanks to overly generous credit card limits. Don’t be embarrassed, we’ve all done it. But this year, we encourage you to shop in store with cash or online with a prepaid gift card/debit card. Showering your loved ones with gifts is rewarding and exciting. However, it’s not worth plunging yourself into debt. This tip holds each shopper to a limit without exceeding their predetermined budget.
Standard homeowner’s insurance provides protection for theft, accidents, and disasters. So depending on the nature of the theft or incident, such as fire or pipe damage, it’s important to assess how your insurance coverage applies.
We hope these tips help you and your family have a safe, secure, energy-efficient, and inexpensive holiday season. We forgot to mention the tacky Christmas sweaters, gingerbread houses, and delicious food. But we hope you already had those written into your seasonal plans.
Lastly, we’ll leave you with a new rendition of a Christmas classic written many years ago.
‘Twas a few weeks before Christmas, when all through Texas,
Many people overpaid, spending money so careless.
Their houses were pretty, decorated with cheer,
Thankfully for them, Energy Ogre is here.
Sure, accidents happen and they can’t all be prevented,
Whether it’s a fire, burglary, or their car gets dented.
Our company is determined to help in ways so plenty,
To help keep you safe and save money in 2020.