After the challenges of 2022, many people have already got into the spirit of the festive season and homes across the UK are twinkling with fairy lights and Christmas cheer.
But it’s important to make sure that along with the fun, you aren’t taking dangerous risks with your safety. Here are some tips to keep you and your family safe during over the next few weeks:
For many, candles are a Christmas essential. However, as you would expect from any naked flame, they’re also a fire hazard so why not try battery-operated candles to avoid unexpected accidents.
A "real" Christmas tree is still an extremely popular choice, but a real tree can catch fire much more quickly than a fire retardant artificial one, so consider buying one of the huge array of fake Christmas trees that are available.
If you do have a real Christmas tree, make sure that you keep it well watered. Real trees can absorb up to a litre of water a day and it's important that you don't let it dry out.
Don't put hairspray on the pine needles to stop them dropping off – it is extremely flammable!
Keep the tree away from heat sources, especially portable heaters.
Make sure your lights are safe. If you are one of the 85% of people planning to decorate your tree with colourful lights, please check they are safe to use first.
Christmas lights brighten up homes across the UK but can be an electrical safety risk. One in twelve people confess to leaving their Christmas lights on overnight, potentially endangering their households as lights can overheat and create a fire hazard. Give the lights a break - switch them off when you're not there to enjoy them.
Don’t overload sockets and try to avoid the use of extension leads or adaptors as these are also a trip hazard.
With an average of around 102 fires per day in December, it's important to remember that winter and the festive period in particular, can be a risky time.
With everyone wanting to open presents and play games, cooking Christmas dinner for the whole family can be stressful. Ensure you give yourself enough time to prepare and cook Christmas dinner to avoid accidents with hot fats, boiling water and burnt food.
Having a fire blanket in the kitchen is an essential. Should a small pan fire start, turn the heat off and carefully place the fire blanket over the flames.
When placing your cards and decorations, be mindful of where you put them. Avoid placing them directly next to your heating, cooking appliances and lighting, as well as not blocking the routes in and out of your home.
It important to consider what you would do in an emergency. Have a plan for how you would get out of your house in the event of a fire, ensuring the whole family is aware of this, including any visitors.
With the increased risk of fire, theft, and property damage over the winter months, it’s important to check that you have sufficient home insurance in place, and that you understand what cover is provided under your policy.
Now is a great time to check your smoke alarms are in a proper working order. If they aren’t and changing the battery doesn’t work, make sure you replace it urgently or call out an electrician for assistance.
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The information contained within this blog is provided solely for general informational and educational purposes and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Before taking any actions based upon this information, we advise the reader to consult any and all relevant statutory or regulatory guidance and where felt necessary to consult a qualified fire or industry regulation professional. The use or reliance on any information contained herein is solely at the reader’s risk.