17 Dec Fire Safety at Christmas
Christmas and New Year’s Eve mark the times of fun and family gatherings. People decorate their homes with wreaths, candles, dazzling and flashing lights, and other decorations to get into the Christmas spirit. But, while they add to the excitement and joy of the holiday season, don’t forget that they may also be a fire hazard.
Although Christmas is the season to be merry, fire can still happen if we forget to follow basic safety procedures. Approach the holidays with caution to get your home ready for Christmas and the New Year.
In this article, we will take a look at some top tips to help ensure that you and you family stay safe at Christmas.
Top Tips For Fire Safety at Christmas:
- Secure your Christmas tree.
- Safely connect the lights.
- Keep candles out of reach of children.
- Check smoke detectors.
- Switch off & unplug electrical items when you are not around.
- Store chemicals with caution.
- Review your homeowner’s insurance policy.
Secure Your Christmas Tree
Are Christmas trees a risk of fire? In a nutshell, they could be. If you’re going to put up an artificial tree, ensure sure it’s fire-resistant and that it’s placed well away from any open fires. Do you prefer the real thing? Although real trees are less combustible, it is still necessary to place them in a safe position.
When your tree is decorated, it will appear lighter than it is. It might also be an attraction for curious kids and dogs. To keep your tree from tipping over, place it in a heavy pot or stand.
Taking Care of Your Tree
Avoid placing your tree near a heat source, such as a fireplace or a heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, making it more susceptible to heat, flame, or spark ignition. If you’re near a tree, be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes. Avoid putting up your live tree too early or for more than two weeks and remember to water your Chrismas tree daily.
Safely Connect the Lights.
Check for old plugs and frayed wires before hanging your Christmas lights, and make sure they have a UK safety standards certification.
It’s best not to use double adaptors at power outlets and to use power boards that include overload and earth leakage protection. Also, sure that outside lights are waterproof. Keep lights away from inquisitive little fingers since they can get hot. Also, remember to turn out all lights before going to sleep or leaving the house.
Keep candles out of reach of children.
Because children are more likely to be around the house during the Christmas holidays, it’s important to keep in mind that they might be drawn to flames. You may have been burning a candle whilst working from home. If so, it’s time to move it out of the way and keep matches out of reach.
Keep candles away from Christmas trees, wrapping paper, curtains, open windows, and anything else that might catch fire. And never leave candles unattended.
Check Smoke Detectors
Smoke alarms are needed all year, so make sure that your batteries are in good working order and, if necessary, replace them with new ones. The effort required to ensure smoke alarms are operational is little, yet it might save a life. Test your smoke alarms monthly, clean them with a vacuum cleaner every six months, change the battery once a year, and replace the smoke alarm unit once every ten years, according to Fire and Rescue service.
The significance of replacing your smoke alarm battery is discussed in another post.
Switch Off & Unplug Electrical Items When You Are Not Around.
It’s tempting to leave your lights on all day so you can return home to a festive house, but you need to resist. When you’re at work or in bed, it’s not a good idea to keep electronics like Christmas lights on. You risk not being around to catch a fault, in addition to running up your power cost.
For complete safety, turn off the electronics at the wall sockets – not only on the extension lead if you use one – and then disconnect them. Some appliances can drain electricity from the socket even after it is turned off. Also, if you have any interior or outdoor lights, remember to turn them off.
Review your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy.
It’s reassuring to know you’re insured in the case of a fire, no matter how careful you are. Check your PDS to understand your protection and review the amount you’ve chosen on your policy annually to ensure you have the correct cover.