Light up your Christmas Tree, not your home.
Hidden away in the corner of your loft lies your beautiful Christmas tree. Tightly wrapped up and accompanied with boxes of protected decorations, it’s literally waiting to stand proud once more. When December finally comes around, you can almost feel the rush in the air. The shops are filled with brightly coloured baubles, the town lights turn on and sparkle, illuminating sensation as Christmas is on its way.
However there are a few very important things, besides the turkey, to remember every time the festive season begins. According to The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, (ROSPA), ‘around 80,000 people suffer accidents and injuries in their homes during the Christmas holidays every year’. Many of those happen in the kitchen during food preparation, while putting up decorations – or worse, as a result of faulty fairy lights or unattended candles.
Making sure your old Christmas lights are safe:
Times have been a little tight over the past two years so who can blame you if you don’t want to update your set of Christmas fairy lights right? Wrong! Faulty Christmas lights cause unnecessary accidents over the festive period if poorly stored, damaged or faulty appliances can lead to accidents in the home or worse – electrical fires. Retrieving your lights from damp, dusty storage spaces can lead to unnecessary hazards, so always see a purchase like this as an investment not a cost.
Most sets of lights are based on the Edison incandescent bulb which is an ordinary light bulb which requires electrical energy to heat up a tiny metal filament so that it glows. The heat itself makes the filament emit light, and frankly the hotter the filament, the greater the light. However the whiter the light – the shorter the lamp life, which is why when the lights are finally unravelled it’s not unusual to find that a couple fail to work. Our advice is to check your lights are up to modern safety standards or if their looking past their sell by date it’s time to get some more – and no before you ask we’re not working on commission.
So what’s our top ten safety tips this Christmas? Keep you and your family safe by reading our advice below:
So starting with the obvious: if you have old Christmas lights, consider buying new ones, which will meet much higher safety standards, keep the lights switched off until the Christmas tree is decorated, don’t let children play with lights (some have swallowed the bulbs), and remember to switch off the lights when going out of the house or going to bed.
Christmas novelties are not toys, even if they resemble them, and they do not have to comply with toy safety regulations. Think carefully where you display them by making sure their out of reach from young (and old) hands.
Always make sure you buy batteries over Christmas – chances are you or aunty jean will buy dear little Jonny a battery powered toy that he’ll want to play with immediately. Being organised helps prevents temper tantrums as well as the temptation to remove batteries from smoke alarms.
Children’s gifts are age marked for a reason; make sure you buy your children gifts for the correct age group from reputable courses that comply with safety standards e.g. The Toys (safety) Regulations 1995.
In the rush to open presents and scoff Christmas dinner, you may find that decorations become damaged or small items like burst balloons or party popper cases get strewn over the floor. Make sure these are promptly spotted and cleared to avoid choking hazards.
A nice open fire is fuelled by poorly placed Christmas cards and real trees. Keep a fire guard on at all times and keep decorations and other flammables away from fires and other heat sources such as light fittings. Don’t leave burning candles unattended, make sure you put them out before going to bed and do not put candles on Christmas trees.
Give yourself enough time to prepare and cook Christmas dinner to avoid hot fat, boiling water and sharp knife accidents that come from rushing, and keep anyone not helping with dinner out of the kitchen. Wipe up (or drink) any spills quickly.
Have scissors handy to open packaging, so you’re not tempted to use a knife, and have screwdrivers at the ready to assemble toys.
Plan New Year fireworks parties well in advance and follow the Firework Safety Code.
Do not drink and drive, and plan long journeys so you won’t be driving tired.
But most importantly enjoy yourself. Christmas is the time to be surrounded by family members and loved ones so enjoy your time off and be merry.