The Christmas holidays usually bring a lot of change from our daily routines. Aside from the mountain of chocolate, extra-tasty food and more alcohol than usual, there are also the visitors, the decorations, the presents and all the extra cooking that goes with it. With all this going on, it’s important to remember to be extra careful and not let carelessness cause a fire in your home. Here are our ten top tips for keeping fire-free this Christmas.
1. Double-check your smoke alarms are working properly. There will probably be more steam and smoke from cooking but don’t risk everyone’s health and safety by removing batteries. Keep some spare batteries to hand and don’t use those from your smoke alarms to go in children’s new toys.
2. Before decking the tree with lights, make sure they work and check they carry the British Safety Standard sign. Imported lights may not be subject to the same stringent safety regulations and could carry a higher fire risk. Replace any bulbs that have blown and check the right fuses are fitted where appropriate. If your lights are old, consider replacing them as new ones have to meet much more thorough safety checks.
3. Don’t jam all your lights in one socket – too many plugs and extension leads from one socket can cause fuses to blow and sockets to overheat. You could also use an RCD (residual current device) or plug with built-in cut-out for added protection against shock and plugs blowing.
4. As pretty as they are, remember to switch off and unplug all lights before going to bed. It’s not worth keeping your windows looking festive if your lights overheat and your curtains catch alight.
5. Decorations are often made from paper or plastic-based materials and hanging banners and tinsel are incredibly flammable. Keep them far away from open fires, candles and heaters and don’t string them between light fittings.
6. You’re more likely to light candles at Christmas – just remember to extinguish them properly at night and never leave them unattended or anywhere near a Christmas tree or decorations. Be extra careful when children are around too, as candles can quickly cause burns, set clothes alight or be easily knocked over without noticing.
7. Most house fires start in the kitchen. You may be cooking more than usual so take extra care with your hob, don’t leave your cooker unattended and be really careful if you’ve been drinking alcohol. Definitely have a fire blanket to hand near your cooker and check that your clothes don’t dangle over naked flames or a hot hob.
8. Visitors may not be aware of the best escape route from your house in the event of a fire. Make sure you tell them, especially anyone elderly or with young children. And if any of your visitors smoke, be sure they follow your smoking rules and don’t risk a fire by sneaky a crafty smoke somewhere.
9. If you have an open fire roaring away, keep anything flammable well out of the way. Use a fireguard, particularly if there are small children around.
10. Real Christmas trees are highly flammable and give out noxious gases when alight. Keep them in plastic containers filled with water to stop them from drying out and become a fire risk. Don’t burn any parts of a real (or artificial) tree in an open fire or log burner.
Above all else, have a wonderful festive period with your loved ones and keep your home and family safe. If you would like any advice on keeping fire safe over Christmas, or to see how any of our products can help you guard against fire damage, take a look around our site and call us on 020 8699 8113 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.