Twinkling lights and decorated trees are sure to bring cheer to many homes this festive season. To make sure everyone can enjoy their decorations and stay safe, here are our top Christmas safety tips.
Always check your Christmas lights are not damaged or broken before you put them up. Don’t use lights that are damaged or faulty.
If they are missing a few bulbs, then only replace with the same type and rating as those supplied with the lights.
Don’t connect different light sets together.
Keep lights away from anything that can burn easily.
Never use lights outdoors unless they’re designed for this.
Switch off your lights and unplug them overnight or when you’re out of the house
Don’t overload sockets and avoid trailing extension leads across the floor as they could trip you up.
Connect any outdoor lights via a RCD protected socket. Residual Current Devices (RCD) are life-savers designed to prevent you from getting an electric shock. They can also protect against electrical fires.
If you can, use LED lights. They operate at a lower voltage, so reduce the risk of shock. And because they use less power, they’re less likely to overheat. They typically use 80-90% less electricity, so they’re cheaper to run and last longer than filament lamps.
Real Christmas trees can catch fire more quickly than artificial ones, but it pays to take care of any Christmas tree and keep pets and children at a safe distance.
If you do have a real Christmas tree, keep it well watered to prevent it drying out. Real trees can absorb up to 1 litre or more of water per day, so give it a good drink.
Keep trees away from heat sources, especially fires and portable heaters.
While being stuck in the kitchen when there’s festive fun going on elsewhere can make you feel like you’re auditioning to play Cinderella in next year’s panto, it’s never a good idea to leave those pots and pans unattended.
So keep an eye on the stove, and make sure everyone else lines up to do the washing while you put your feet up after dinner.
Charging up for Christmas
While you may want to make sure your smart phones, laptops, games and other electronic devices are fully charged and ready to go at any time, it’s never a good idea to over charge them.
Avoid using cheap, unbranded chargers and always charge your devices on a hard surface. Don’t leave them on a bed or soft furnishings.
If you’re not using or charging an appliance, unplug it. This will save you money on your electricity bills as appliances still use power in standby mode and protect them from overheating.
Watch out for cables
Power cables can not only become a trip hazard, they are also easily damaged, so check them and replace any stretched or worn cables.
Don’t get overloaded
With lots of extra things to plug in and power up, make sure you never overload power sockets as this can lead to them overheating and could cause a fire.
Test your smoke and CO alarms
Yes they can be irritating when they go off as you’re cooking the turkey, but smoke alarms can save you from more than burning the Christmas Dinner. So please don’t remove their batteries, unless you’re replacing them and make sure they’re working properly.
A carbon monoxide alarm can also save your life, so make sure you have one in your kitchen and any room with heating, or a boiler.