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Holiday Household Chore Checklist

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Between work, school, the kids and all your regular daily responsibilities, getting your home in order for the holidays can quickly become an overwhelming experience. Peggy Patenaude, a REALTOR® with Prudential Howe & Doherty in Andover, Mass. offers these great tips for getting the job done without over-extending yourself.

1. Have your chimney professionally serviced. The holiday season coincides with fireplace season. Nothing beats a roaring fire on cold nights, however protecting your home and family by having your fireplace and chimney serviced is important. Small animals, leaves, and left over soot and debris can prevent proper ventilation and cause a fire if left ignored.

2. Protect your home from power lines. If you have power lines running from the street to your home be sure they are clear of trees and branches. If not, contact your power supply company to report any issues. Also, be aware that trees can be problematic for power lines when heavy snow falls. If you have the potential for this issue within your property, you may be responsible for trimming or removal.

3. Equip your home with several well placed fire extinguishers. The holiday season normally goes hand in hand with cooking, which can be the catalyst for cooking fires and accidents. Holiday lights and Christmas trees also present fire hazards. In case of an emergency, it is important to have fire extinguishers handy. Be sure to educate your family on their location and how to operate them.

4. Protect your pets. The coming months present new dangers to your favorite furry friends. Heavy snow accumulation means that some animals may be able to jump the fence in your backyard. Be aware that certain holiday flowers like Poinsettias are poisonous to our canine and feline friends. Certain types of ice melt can also be hazardous to paws or worse, if it’s ingested.

5. Protect your home from afar. A lot of people escape to warmer temperatures during the fall and winter months. There are several ways to make sure your home is protected in your absence. It may be tempting to brag about your vacation to your friends, however, you should never announce that you are going out of town on Facebook or Twitter! Set your porch light, in addition to a few indoor lights, on timers. If possible, leave a car in your driveway. It’s also a good idea to have the post office hold your mail, or if you feel comfortable, ask a neighbor.

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