Keep Christmas Happy and Safe
Things to remember when putting up those Christmas decorations!
It’s that time of year again. Putting up Christmas trees, lights, ornaments and decorations are just some things we do to get into the Christmas spirit. But all of these things are a hazard, and it’s easy to forget about safety when you’re thinking about how wonderful your house will be!
Christmas lights can be dangerous
For a start, make sure that you check all the fuses on the lights and if any of the bulbs blow, replace them immediately. Don’t let the lights touch anything that may be flammable as a bulb could explode and set fire to anything around it.
Paper decorations may cause fires
Remember, decorations made of materials like tissue paper or cardboard can burn easily so it’s best to keep them away from lights, heaters and the fireplace, and, of course, away from candles.
Keep an eye on those candles!
Although candles can look very pretty, they are one of the worst culprits for causing fires throughout the world. Always keep an eye on the candles and do not leave a room for long, if at all, with candles burning in it.
Who would have thought a Christmas tree can be dangerous too?
Make sure that you buy a freshly cut tree where the needles do not drop off and the trunk feels sticky as this means it will not burn as easily as a tree which was cut down a long time ago and has gone dry. If a tree burns down it can quickly fill a room with harmful gases.
Remember not to place your tree next to a fire or other heating source as this just dries it out and can also be a fire hazard. Some fire safety officers recommend that you do not keep a tree for longer than two weeks. Although many people keep their trees up longer than this (some people even put them up before November has ended!), if this is the case for you then check that the tree is not too dry and away from any heating sources.
It is also never advisable to put your tree or the needles in a burning stove as this can turn the sap into creosote which is like a tar – this can end up in the chimney and is highly flammable. This is true for any unseasoned wood. It is unsafe to put any wood in the fire which is more than 20% moist. Another point is that if you do have a chimney, make sure that it is swept regularly. Some insurance companies are now asking for a certificate which states that you have had it swept in the past year.
Cats and dogs love the Christmas tree!
Cats and dogs love to attack the Christmas tree – with dangly things attracting paws and smells on the trunk attracting noses, they may have your Christmas tree down in a few minutes and if you are not in the room at the time then the tree could easily fall into the fire or other heating source.
Laptops, PCs, Mobile Phone Chargers
Another factor that is easy to forget at work or home is that decorations should not be placed around your computer or laptop as this can inhibit the air flow and cause the device to overheat which could then lead to a fire. Make sure you only buy the appropriate chargers for your mobile phones as some are cheap and therefore often poorly made, which can lead them to catch fire or explode. Make sure any chargers or electrical goods brought online have the CE mark to meet legal compliance.
Finally, do check that all your smoke detectors are working around the house as these are one of the most important factors in home safety.
If you remember all of these points and act upon them then Christmas will be a safer, happier time for you and your family. Don’t forget to make sure your home is also covered for any potential home emergencies during this festive season. A little planning now, can save you a lot of money and hassle during Christmas and into the New Year!
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