Hazards Exist in Hosting Home Holiday Parties: Allstate

December 12, 2014

Holiday “ugly” sweaters have grown in popularity across the nation and will likely make an appearance with the 83 percent of Americans who plan to party this season. A new Allstate poll indicates 54 percent of Americans will host holiday parties in their homes, and the large majority who attend parties say they take place at someone else’s home. While the nation celebrates, Allstate provides reminders of historical holiday home hazard outcomes, such as kitchen fires, decorative fires and theft, and helpful hints for customers and consumers who host parties this season.

“This time of the year is especially festive and celebratory for Americans, but we often forget to take precautions to secure our valuables and homes from potential hazards when hosting parties,” said Laurie Pellouchoud, vice president of product operations, homeowners line management, for Allstate. “Taking a few extra steps before the next ‘ugly sweater’ party or other holiday get-together could protect your family and friends from costly mishaps during the holiday season.”

Allstate’s Holiday Home Hazards poll found the vast majority (91 percent) of Americans agree they can reduce risks associated to fires, accidents or theft during the holiday season through their own attention and action. And more than half of Americans guessed correctly that fire (12 percent claims increase) and theft (5 percent claims increase) risks are higher during the holiday season. Still, a majority (62 percent or more) say they aren’t paying any more attention to these risks which could result in trouble during a busy time of cooking, decorating and hosting a holiday gathering.

Hosting Hazards

Hosts should be aware that the likelihood of theft can increase over the holidays. It’s wise to protect against unfortunate disappearances of valuables.

  • Just one in five (22 percent) say they put away valuables before hosting a party.
  • Nearly half (48 percent) say they have left a door unlocked for a friend or family member.
  • Forty-six percent say they have hidden a key to their home for a friend or family member. Hiding keys leaves the home too easily accessible for burglaries
  • Nearly half (48 percent) say they’ve hidden valuables such as gifts in their car. Leaving valuables in a car can create an enticing opportunity for thieves to break-in.
  • Seventeen percent of Americans say they’ve experienced a stolen or missing valuable when attending a holiday party

Protecting valuables is especially important during the holiday season given some of the most common precious items are also small in size and could go unnoticed:


Hasty Hors d’oeuvres

Food is the centerpiece of many holiday gatherings as hosts prepare decadent spreads for their guests, but remaining diligent in the kitchen will help prevent mishaps.

  • Eighty-seven percent of holiday party hosts plan to do “lots of cooking” to prepare for their gatherings.
  • Nearly half (44 percent) of survey respondents have left a stove or oven unattended during the holiday season. Unattended cooking could become dangerous without the host knowing.
  • Another 44 percent of Americans don’t keep fire extinguishers in their home to put out a fire when it erupts.
  • More than a quarter of Americans have hosted or attended a party that resulted in a burnt or ruined meal.

Allstate claims data shows hasty cooking during the holiday season is among factors that could lead to unfortunate outcomes for homeowners, condo owners, and renters:


Deck the Halls

Hosting a holiday party often comes with festive home touches. Make sure to take proper safety precautions to avoid potentially costly and dangerous outcomes.

  • In fact, about one-third (31 percent) of Americans light candles and one in five will light a fire in their fireplace (21 percent) during a holiday party hosted at their home.
  • More than half (53 percent) say they haven’t checked or changed their smoke detectors recently. Unchecked smoke detectors can cause people to miss important alarms when fire breaks out in a home.
  • Forty-four percent of Americans with gas fireplaces haven’t had it inspected within the last three years. Faulty gas lines and fireplace build-up can cause dangerous outcomes.
  • Forty-three percent of Americans admit to plugging in too many lights into one outlet. This can lead to electrical malfunctions and even fires.
  • About one-third (34 percent) have left candles and 17 percent have left fires unattended.

Allstate data indicates fires due to candles, fireplace and electrical mishaps are often significant losses.


Source: Allstate

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