Christmas is a time of love, laughter and celebration. We want to help you ensure that the festive period is a happy time and avoid any heartache.
Your home is likely to be busy with family and friends visiting; it is in the excitement of the season that accidents can often happen. Thankfully, with a little care and forward planning, most accidents could be avoided.
Take a moment to read this informative guide for a safe and merry Christmas
Ensure you buy children’s gifts for the correct age group and from reputable sources that comply with standards e.g. The Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011.
Remember to buy batteries for toys that need them – this way you won’t be tempted to remove batteries from smoke alarms.
Look out for small items that could pose a choking hazard to young children, including parts that have fallen off toys or from Christmas trees, button batteries and burst balloons.
Check the fuses are the right type (see the box for the maximum size of fuse you should use).
If you have old Christmas lights that are in a tangled ball, consider buying new ones, which will meet much higher and more up to date safety standards.
Never leave fairy lights on when you go out or when you go to sleep and ensure the bulbs don’t touch anything that can burn easily, such as paper.
Decorations made of light tissue paper or cardboard burn easily, don’t attach them to lights or heaters.
Ensure any flammable decorations are positioned at a safe distance from any heat sources.
Open fires & Candles
Don’t leave burning candles unattended, make sure you put them out before going to bed and never put candles on Christmas trees. Ensure you keep all flammable decorations (including stockings) and cards away from fires and other heat sources, such as, light fittings.
Give yourself enough time to prepare and cook Christmas dinner to avoid hot fat, boiling water and sharp knife accidents that come from rushing. Keep anyone not helping with dinner out of the kitchen. Wipe up any spills quickly
Slips, Trips & Falls
Falls are the most common accidents so try to keep clutter to a minimum. Make sure stairs are well-lit and free from obstacles, especially if you have guests.
Beware of trailing cables and wires in the rush to connect new gadgets and appliances, and always read instructions provided.
Special fire safety precautions need to be taken when keeping a live tree in the house. A burning tree can rapidly fill a room with fire and deadly gases. Ensure you keep the base of the tree watered to provide a good level of moisture content.
Selecting a Tree for Christmas
Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and the needle should not break if the tree has been freshly cut. The trunk should be sticky to the touch. Old trees can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk on the ground. If many needles fall off, the tree has been cut too long, has probably dried out, and is a fire hazard.
Caring for Your Tree
Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks. Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree.
Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.
Disposing of Your Tree
Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood burning stove. When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly. The best way to dispose of your tree is by taking it to a recycling centre or having it taken away by a community pickup service.
From everyone here at Robert Richards Associates Limited, we wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year!