Christmas is just around the corner, is it too early for a mince pie yet!? As the excitement for the festive period builds, we wanted to share some top tips for staying safe during the celebrations – a few extra precautions that you may not have thought of, to ensure a happy Christmas for all.
Burn candles safely
Never place candles near your Christmas tree, furnishings or any other object that come into contact with the flame. Ensure that the candles, lighters and matches are kept out of reach of children and never leave burning candles unattended.
Test your fire alarm and check the battery every week
Your fire alarm and battery need to be checked regularly to ensure that they will perform when needed. Check these once a week and remember to clean the alarm and remove any dust. If you do not have a fire alarm fitted then get one fitted as soon as possible. You can claim a free home risk assessment through your local fire service by visiting www.fire.gov.uk.
More house fires start in the kitchen than any other room in the home. The combination of cooking with the hectic nature of Christmas day means you need to be extra vigilant with kitchen safety. Don’t get distracted by events going on around you and ensure that you remain sober whilst preparing or cooking food. Never leave cooking food unattended or allow children in the kitchen alone.
Loose materials can catch fire quickly so avoid loose clothing, tea towels or oven gloves coming into contact with the cooker or hob. Oil that starts to smoke is too hot and can set alight easily so take care, and ensure that the oven, hob and grill are in good working order before use.
Social Media Safety
The festive season is filled with joyous moments that a lot of us can’t wait to share with our family on friends on social media – Christmas markets, get-togethers with loved ones and photos of delicious food to name just a few.
However, with houses often left unattended and filled with gifts, Christmas is also a period that thieves can take advantage of. This Christmas, stay safe online and protect your property by never revealing your location on social media and avoid sharing updates about travelling to visit family and friends, or going on holiday.
Night and day, winter can provide prime conditions for thieves looking for vehicles to target. It may be tempting to leave your car engine running on frosty mornings whilst scraping the windows or fetching de-icer from the garage, but this open up the door to criminals stealing your car, and may jeopardise your insurance if your car is stolen. Never leave your car unattended without being locked and with your keys in a safe place.
Remember to do routine checks on your vehicle as adverse weather conditions can cause problems with traffic and the usability of your vehicle. Check your tyres, lights, coolant and fluid levels (oil, water, screen wash) and wipers etc. which must be topped up, replaced or repaired as necessary. Always travel prepared for all weather conditions with a travel safety kit, blankets etc, but if it is not safe to drive then do not do so.
Safety of Others
Winter can prove a difficult season for people with physical or mental health issues, the elderly or vulnerable. Adverse weather conditions can make every day tasks such as leaving the house, doing the grocery shopping or visiting the doctors difficult, so take time to check up on family, friends or neighbours that face may be affected. Check that they are safe, well, warm and equipped with the food or medicines that they might need.
Christmas Tree Safety
Christmas trees that haven’t been watered can burst into flames extremely quickly and spread at a rapid pace. Even though your Christmas tree has been cut, it will need to be watered regularly to keep it thriving, as well as safe to have in your home.
Place your tree away from sunlight, radiators or fireplaces, in a tree stand containing water. A tree that is 6ft tall can drink 2 pints of water per day, so ensure you top the water up daily. Keeping your tree hydrated will help avoid household fires.
Following these tips, along with your usual precautions, and staying extra vigilant over the festive season, should help you have a safe and happy Christmas.