It’s that time of year again! A time for spreading Christmas joy, having a houseful of people, eating ‘til you burst and getting a bit merry! But in this festive period especially, it’s important not to relax too much and become careless where safety is concerned. Of course, I am not trying to emphasise the negatives and ruin the magic of Christmas, but by simply being a bit cautious and careful, you can have peace of mind.
- In 2002, 1,000 people were estimated to have visited A&E in the UK after home accidents involving Christmas trees and 350 people after home accidents involving Christmas lights.
- Candles sparked around 1,000 UK house fires, resulting in 9 deaths and 388 casualties, in 2011/12.
- Fairy lights went up in smoke causing 20 fires, while Christmas trees, decorations and cards were also a fire risk and responsible for 47 house fires, leading to 20 non-fatal casualties, across the UK.
Obviously we don’t want to dampen the Christmas spirit with these facts, but to ensure you have a safe and fun-filled day just follow these simple safety tips –
Christmas tree lights – It’s easy to forget how long you’ve been getting your old lights out of the loft, but it’s important you renew them regularly. Old lights that have been subjected to dust, damp and only being used once a year can be dangerous. New ones are more likely to meet more stringent safety standards.
Christmas light tips –
- Look for safety marks e.g. BS Kitemark
- Buy from a respectable shop
- Never insert or remove bulbs when switched on
- Check cables and bulbs for damage
- Do not use lights which are damaged, dispose of them safely
- Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions
- Don’t use the lights outdoors unless they’re specifically made for outdoor use
- Don’t run the cable under carpets or where it can be damaged
- Keep lights clear of decorations and other flammable materials
- Avoid cables becoming a trip hazard
- Don’t leave the lights on when the room is empty. Remember to switch them off when you go to bed and when you go out of the house
- Don’t allow pets or children to play with the lights
- Take care when dismantling and packing the lights not to damage them
- Keep them safely stored away out of the reach of children
- Avoid damp or excessively hot conditions
If you have young children in your family you’ll know how frustrating it can be trying to un-package and assemble small toys for your children to play with. Not only can this be a test of your patience, but it can also be a choke hazard too. When you’re finished with unwrapping presents make sure you dispose of the paper and packaging as soon as possible, to avoid young children swallowing hazardous objects, or putting flammable materials near candles, the fireplace or warm lights.
Western Industrial Products want to help you stay safe this Christmas – with their range of Fire Extinguishers, First Aid and Burns Kits, and Cable ties to stop anyone tripping over any Christmas light wires! Don’t leave your families safety to chance this Christmas, head over to the website!
Article compiled by: Laura Pay-Savage