We all love to get caught up in the excitement of Christmas (well, the majority anyway!) From decorating our Christmas trees and houses with a multitude of flashing lights to cosying up in front a real fire with family and friends, it really is a great time of the year! However, it can be easy to forget with all the candles, lights and decorations, not to mention the Christmas tree itself, that these all add to the fire hazards in our homes and extra precautions must be taken.
5 Christmas Fire Hazards
We have put together a few things to keep an eye on over the festive season, to make sure you and everyone you love stay safe this Christmas.
We all love a few fairy lights at Christmas, the more the better in our house! One thing you must make sure of, is that any lights you are putting up have the BS EN 60598 British Standard safety mark, this should be on the packaging too. Even Christmas lights need a break – switch them off when you’re not there to enjoy them. Make sure to turn off all the lights and blow out any candles before you go to bed, otherwise you are endangering your household as lights can overheat and create a fire hazard! Only use legitimate, specifically manufactured external lights on the outside of your home, the weather at this time of year can turn at any given moment – oh and a carrier bag wrapped round a plug socket is NOT weather proof! Purpose made external lights need to be plugged into either an internal socket or speak to your local electrician and have an external safety socket fitted – much better to be safe than very, very sorry!
Once the Christmas tree is up and covered in tinsel and fairy lights, it can be easy to forget there is a significant fire risk, more so if you have a real tree. Make sure your tree is not placed near a source of ignition such as open fires or power sources. Make sure to keep your tree watered as a dried out tree is even more of a risk, be careful when watering your tree, water and fairy lights do not mix! A real tree ignited by just a few sparks can fill a room with flames and toxic gases in as little as 60 seconds.
With all those fairly lights and light up ornaments, it can be tempting to plug one extension into another to create the number of sockets you need, but fire experts suggest that this is one of the main causes of house fires at this time of year. Use an extension with the right number of sockets that you need and make sure it is surge protected. You can check if your sockets are overloaded by going to the Electrical Safety website, click here.
Many people have admitted to leaving the cooking unattended especially as there is a house full of family and friends enjoying the Christmas Spirit it’s easy to get distracted. So, please be careful what you heat and don’t cook when you’ve had a few too many glasses of festive cheer!
Travelling at Christmas
Remember if you are packing your laptop or phone with that Christmas Playlist for your journey either by car or train, make sure you don’t leave your device charging on the bed while you get ready to leave. Remember to use a hard surface and avoid charging your device overnight and don’t use cheap, unbranded chargers. Overcharging can cause some adaptors to become a serious fire risk.
Above all stay safe, have fun and enjoy yourself!
We hope you and your loved ones enjoy a Christmas filled with fun and festivities, but please take a moment to think about the fire safety of your Christmas decorations, it really could mean the difference between a Christmas celebration and a Christmas disaster.
Until next time, Merry Christmas