We shouldn’t really have to say this, should we? Only we do….
Fire kills, and Christmas is really a time where we roll out decorations and lights for trees, that we use rarely, then bundle them up and squish them back into the decorations box until the next year.
There are lots of hidden dangers around Christmas, and for this year, I wanted to highlight the main ones for my readers.
Christmas Lights Safety Checklist
- Only buy lights with the British Kitemark.
- Buy from a respected source, ie a large chair or reliable name. Do not buy lights second-hand, or from a dodgy bloke in a pub. You have been warned.
- If your lights are a few years old, treat yourself to new ones if you can.
- Before adding your lights to your lovely new tree, check each one for signs of damage and change bulbs if needed. If the cables are worn, replace the lights.
- Switch OFF the electric before removing or adding a new bulb.
- Use a surge protector.
- Don’t use indoor only lights for wrapping around the top of your garage outside etc. Keep indoor lights for indoor only.
- Watch out for the trip hazard that cables along floors can create.
- Switch off the lights when you go to bed, or when you go out.
- Christmas lights are not toys, neither are the fibre optic trains and santa sleigh’s out there. Don’t let your kids play with them.
Christmas Fire Awareness
- Extinguish candles before you go out, and before you leave the house. Candles really shouldn’t be left unattended at any time. When you have them lit, make sure they are out of drafts and away from soft furnishings and curtains. Keep candles, lighters and matches out of the reach of children.
- Keep decorations well away from heaters, fans and lights. It’s tempting to hand a star from a chandelier, but just don’t do it. Don’t.
- No matter how tempting it is, don’t put on your Christmas dinner, then leave the house. Cooking needs to be kept watch over. Kitchens are dangerous places. Keep dish towels away from hobs and hot ovens.
- Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Are they working correctly? If not, replace them, or change the batteries until they are.
- Do not, and I repeat, do not, overload sockets. With all those new gadgets and whole families in one house, all eager to charge them, stop and think…..is it worth the risk?
- Be careful with Christmas costumes. Some materials are very flammable and can catch alight easily. Know what fabric you are wearing and your risks. Making a stir fry using an open flame on a hob, but wearing a flammable material, is a recipe for disaster.
If you can think of others I’ve missed, please add them in the comments.