Tips to Help Stay Safe This Holiday Season
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Tips to Help Stay Safe This Holiday Season

By Ring on November 15, 2023

It takes a little holiday magic and some late-night sessions in Santa’s workshop to make the most wonderful time of the year live up to its name. But while you’re focused on finding the perfect gifts, prepping for dinner parties, and turning your home into a winter wonderland, don’t forget the most important task of all — brushing up on holiday safety.

Whether you’re cozied up at home, headed on a holiday journey, or knocking out some shopping, these tips can help you stay safe throughout the holiday season.

Holiday Home Safety Tips

Help protect your home — and all the little elves inside — with these essential safety tips.

Practice Fire Safety

A roaring fire and cranked-up thermostat can help keep Jack Frost at bay, but heating equipment can also pose a fire risk in your home. Here are some tips from the U.S. Fire Administration and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to help you stay warm and safe:

  • Schedule a cleaning and inspection of your chimney and heating equipment at least once a year.
  • Keep flammable items at least three feet away from fireplaces, space heaters, wood stoves, and other heating equipment. Kids and pets should also stay three feet away.
  • After burning a fire in the fireplace, place cooled ashes in a metal container and store it at least 10 feet from your home.
  • Don’t plug more than one heat-producing appliance into an outlet.
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and test them at least once a month.
  • If you have a Ring Alarm, consider installing a First Alert Smoke and CO Alarm or adding Smoke and CO Listeners near your existing detectors. With a Ring Protect subscription, sold separately, you’ll get real-time notifications if a detector goes off, whether you’re home or away.1

    You can also enroll in 24/7 Alarm Professional Monitoring with your Ring Protect subscription to help ensure fire or CO emergencies don’t get missed.2 When a smoke alarm is activated, the professional monitoring company will call your emergency contact to confirm the emergency and request help if you need it or can’t answer. If your CO detector triggers the Alarm, the professional monitoring center will immediately request emergency assistance.

    Cook Carefully

    It can be a challenge for even the most confident home cooks to juggle several courses of a holiday meal. During the cooking frenzy, safety often gets put on the back burner. You can help avoid common kitchen mishaps with these simple tips from the American Red Cross and Johns Hopkins Medicine:

  • Don’t wear loose or dangling clothing while cooking.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you’re cooking. If you leave, turn off every burner and appliance.
  • Set oven timers, so you don’t lose track of time. Once you’re done baking, turn the oven off right away.
  • Always keep kids and pets away from hot appliances.
  • Move flammable items away from the stove while you’re cooking.
  • Check your appliances before going out or heading to bed to ensure everything is turned off.
  • Be cautious when handling hot foods or liquids.
  • Cover pans or use baking soda if a grease fire breaks out. If something catches fire inside the oven, turn it off and keep the oven door closed.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen to help put out larger fires.
  • Holiday Travel Safety Tips

    Whether you’re packing up the car for a holiday road trip or taking to the skies for an extended vacation, these tips can help you prepare for a smooth journey.

    Prep Your Home for Winter Travel

    Before you leave, follow these steps to help ensure your home will be secure and protected while you’re gone:

  • Install a Ring Alarm security system to level up security and subscribe to Ring Protect, sold separately, to get notifications from the Ring App while you’re gone.1
  • If you’re going somewhere with spotty cell reception or plan to decrease screen time while you’re gone, enroll in 24/7 Alarm Professional Monitoring with your Ring Protect Pro subscription, sold separately.1 2 A trained agent will monitor Alarm notifications and follow the appropriate emergency response plan.2
  • Consider connecting Flood & Freeze Sensors to Ring Alarm if you’re expecting cold weather at home. If running water or temperatures under 40 degrees are detected, your sensors will trigger the Alarm. With a Ring Protect subscription, sold separately, you’ll get a notification.1
  • Program your thermostat cooler than usual to save energy while avoiding frozen pipes. With a Ring-compatible smart thermostat, you can also adjust the temperature and set automations from the Ring App while traveling.
  • Consider using smart lighting to make it look like you’re home. With Ring Smart LED bulbs, you can set schedules in the Ring App to automatically turn lights on and off. You can also connect an Outdoor Smart Plug to Ring Bridge to control your holiday lights remotely.
  • Ask a Neighbor to Keep Watch

    If you’re close with any neighbors, you can ask them to watch over your home while you’re gone. Picking up your mail and packages and shoveling your driveway after a snowstorm can help make it look like you never left.

    You can also keep up with the activity in your neighborhood with the Neighbors App. From severe weather alerts to safety posts from people nearby, you can get the most important information from back home in one convenient place.

    Click to open Neighbors App in App Store. Click to open Neighbors App in Google Play Store.

    Check the Weather

    Severe weather can delay your flight or turn a three-hour drive into a whole-day event. That’s why the Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends checking the forecast before you leave. If a winter storm is brewing, consider staying off the roads and adjusting your travel plans.

    Pack an Emergency Kit

    An emergency kit can come in handy if you hit a little more traffic than expected or end up with a flat tire on your winter road trip. The National Weather Service recommends packing these items:

  • Cell phone charger
  • First-aid kit
  • Snacks and water
  • A blanket and warm clothes
  • Jumper cables, flares, tire chains, and tow rope
  • Flashlight
  • A bag of sand or cat litter to create traction
  • Ice scraper and snow brush
  • Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

    family out and about shopping

    Finding that perfect gift for everyone on your list isn’t always easy — but it’s worth it when you see the joy on their faces. Whether you’re doing a deep dive on Amazon or walking the aisles of your local shops, here’s how to stay safe while shopping.

    Be Alert During In-Person Shopping Sessions

    Even after the Black Friday madness ends, holiday shopping can be a frenzy. These tips can help you stay alert and aware while you hit the aisles:

  • The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department recommends shopping in groups, so you can look out for each other.
  • Pull out your keys before you reach your car.
  • The City of Boulder, Colorado suggests parking in a well-lit area and keeping your vehicle locked.
  • Put your shopping haul in the trunk or out of view inside your car.
  • Do Your Online Shopping Securely

    You can do a lot of your shopping from the comfort of your couch, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be aware of your (digital) surroundings. The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) offers several tips to help stay safe online:

  • Make sure your device’s software is up-to-date before you begin shopping.
  • Check that you’re buying items from an established vendor.
  • Look for a padlock symbol next to a website’s URL when you visit to indicate your information is encrypted.
  • Use your home wifi network to make purchases, since public networks may not be secure. For added digital security during the holiday season and year-round, consider a Ring Alarm Pro, which doubles as an eero router. With a Ring Protect Pro subscription, sold separately, you’ll get built-in security features like encryption and automatic software updates to help protect your data while you shop.1 3
  • Don’t Advertise Your Holiday Haul

    When big boxes start arriving for everyone on your nice list, they can catch the eyes of people passing by. So if you plan to do a lot of your shopping online this season, track your shipments and quickly bring them inside when they arrive. The same rule applies once your family unpacks their new gifts and starts setting them up around the house. Publications from several cities across the country have noted that empty boxes on the curb are like a billboard for the new electronics sitting inside — so you should always break them down and put them in your recycling bin before pickup. 4

    Want more tips to help protect your packages this holiday season (and beyond)? Check out our package theft prevention guide.

    Help Protect Your Home This Holiday Season With Ring

    For the holidays, you can’t beat home sweet home — and Ring is here to help protect it. From outdoor cameras that help you keep track of holiday decorations to Ring Alarm Accessories that can help detect frozen pipes and fires, we have the security tools you need to help get through the season safely.

    Looking for a little extra peace of mind during the holidays? Check out our innovative security products today — and you may just find the perfect gift for a friend, too.

    1 Ring Alarm and all Ring Alarm accessories require a subscription for in-app features and digital notifications, including digital arming / disarming and integration with other Ring, Echo, Alexa, and third party products. Subscription sold separately. View for pricing and details.

    2 A compatible Ring Protect subscription is required to enroll in the Ring Alarm professional monitoring service. Professional monitoring service is available only within the U.S. (all 50 states, but not U.S. territories) and in Canada (excluding Quebec). Ring does not own its own professional monitoring center. Smoke and carbon monoxide monitoring is not available for a business or commercially zoned address. See Ring alarm licenses at: Additional permit or false alarm fees may apply depending on your local jurisdiction. Additional charges may apply in areas that require permits or guard response service for alarm verification.

    3 Advanced online security features are available to US customers with eero Secure, which is included with a Ring Protect Pro subscription.


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