5 Ways To Keep Your Homes Safe This Christmas
1st Dec 2020
With Christmas approaching, you might be thinking that it’s time to put your Christmas decorations up. Or if you’ve started the festive cheer early, they may already be up!
There’s nothing better than getting cosy in a blanket with candles, baubles, and fairy lights twinkling around you. But sadly, the chances of an accident happening also increase with the use of electricals and flames.
We provide some simple Christmas safety tips, which will help you keep your festive time free of fire risks.
1. Hanging your decorations
Garlands, tinsel, lights and other festive hanging are perfect for decorating your home in Christmas, but these could be the origin of a fire if you place them too precariously.
- Avoid hanging decorations near candles, fireplaces, Christmas lights, radiators, and heaters as these could easily fall, causing a fire safety risk.
- Minimise decorations in your kitchen and keep decorations well away from hobs.
2. Look at the condition and standards of your lights
To ensure lights are safe for use, keep in mind the following:
- Electricals should have the British or European Safety mark on them. If yours don’t, make it a priority to buy some that do and recycle your old ones.
- Use LEDs. LEDs are lower voltage so generate much less heat. It’s highly recommended to use low voltage LED lights on your tree as they don’t get hot and therefore your tree is much less likely to catch fire. Not only that, but they help you to save money on those energy bills!
- Be careful not to overload outlets or extension leads. Overloading can cause overheating, which is just asking for a fire.
- Replace your lights if they show signs of a fault. Dodgy or flickering lights (unless they’re meant to be flickering) have got to go.
- If you want to install outdoor lights around your home and garden, make sure (again) that the lights meet safety standards and are specifically designed to be outdoors.
3. Turn off and unplug electricals when you’re not around
It is tempting to leave your lights on throughout the day or night so you can come back to a festive house, but it is not a sensible idea. Aside from running your electric bill, you also run the risk of not being around to catch a fault.
- Switch the electronics off at the wall sockets – not just on the extension lead if you use one – and then unplug them for complete safety. Even when switched off, some appliances can still draw power from the socket. Remember to switch off both indoor and outdoor lights if you have any.
4. Burning and lighting candles
You no doubt already know to be cautious with candles, but it really is important to take extra care with fire safety around Christmas.
To use candles safely, keep in mind the following:
- Put your candles in areas where they won’t get knocked over or catch something, for example if someone passes by while putting on their coat and scarf.
- Keep them well away from decorations and the Christmas tree, and definitely don’t put them on the tree.
- Never leave them unattended. Even if you’re only popping out the room for 10 to 15 minutes, it’s really not worth it. You can fill your room with festive fragrances in safer ways when you’re not around, such as reed diffusers or festive air freshers.
- When lighting candles, make sure you fully extinguish matches and put them away properly. If using lighters, also put these away after using them.
5. Select a suitable tree
Everyone loves a real Christmas tree. That Christmas tree scent really does fill the room with feelings of festivity. But an old, underwatered Christmas tree can pose a real fire safety hazard, so pay attention when picking.
Here are some tips for keeping your tree safe:
- Make sure you place it well away from any heat sources.
- Give it plenty of water. During winter, you’ll no doubt have the heating on every day in your home, which will contribute to your tree turning dry.
- If you have an artificial tree, you should still keep it away from heat sources. Some artificial trees may have a ‘flame retardant’ label, but this doesn’t mean they’re fireproof.
- Only use lights on your real or artificial tree that conform to British Standards (which you can identify by the British safety kitemark) or have the CE Safety Standard mark.