Christmas really can be the most wonderful time of year. Spending time with family and friends, enjoying delicious food, listening to music and sharing presents with one another are just some of the many things that make it so magical.
With more people around the house, excitement and more things – think presents and decorations – Christmastime can also become a dangerous time of year.
Nobody wants the season to end up with an accident or tragedy, which is why extra care needs to be taken around the home. From supervising children to being careful where decorations are placed, there are plenty of things you can do to reduce the risk and avoid accidents.
Even before you’ve put them up, Christmas decorations can cause accidents and injuries. More common than you might first think, 1 in 50 people have fallen out of their loft while getting their decorations down. So, if you’re responsible for retrieving the decorations, make sure you’re as careful as possible and always have someone else there in case of an accident.
Buying Christmas Lights
We’ve spoken before about the risk of buying fake electrical items and how to avoid it. Ensure your Christmas lights conform to regulations to avoid disappointment and/or disaster. Watch out for ‘too good to be true’ sale prices, where the product is coming from and reviews. Always make sure there is a padlock next to the URL when you’re making a payment online.
The risk of a fire in the home rises around Christmas time due to an increased use of gas/electric fires, heating and decorations. Attaching decorations to lights or placing them near heat sources or fires can result in fires.
Plenty of cooking goes on around Christmas time but be careful. Try to avoid leaving cooking unattended, as it’s actually the case that most fires start in the kitchen. As well as that, a survey by the National Accident Helpline found that 49% of those asked had suffered an accident when preparing food, so when you’re in the kitchen, make sure you’re concentrating whether you’re peeling vegetables or putting food into the oven.
Don’t leave Christmas lights on overnight as this can increase the risk of fuses blowing and fires starting. Switch them off and unplug them before you go to bed or leave the house.
Candles are a popular decoration all year round, but even more so at Christmas time. Never leave candles unattended and keep them away from furnishings, Christmas trees and decorations.
Almost half of those in Britain expect to drink more than the recommended amount of alcohol over the Christmas period. If you are going to be enjoying a few drinks this holiday season, don’t attempt to use appliances like the cooker, kettle, etc. at the same time. Your reaction times will be slower, making accidents more likely. And of course, never drink and drive.
While it can be tempting to plug everything into one place, don’t do it. Overloading plug sockets and extensions leads can be incredibly dangerous as it can lead to overheating and fires.
Preparing With Batteries
It’s not very often than toys come with the batteries they require, so it’s a good idea to stock up before Christmas. Doing so will stop the temptation to take them from other things such as your smoke alarm.
Keep an eye out for small items that could put a child at risk of choking. This can be anything from small parts from toy or crackers to party foods such as peanuts and popcorn.
Always be prepared with a pair of scissors to open up packaging rather than using items such as knives as they pose a much higher risk of injury.
Cables can be a trip hazard at any time of year. With fairy lights on the tree and around the fireplace, there’s more of a danger at Christmas time. When placing them, try and ensure they’re close to a socket to avoid cables trailing all over the room. Otherwise, keep them to edges of a room and/or cover them using cable covers.