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Staying Safe With Christmas Decorations

Staying Safe With Christmas Decorations

Thursday 12th November 2020
Direct Training GB Ltd.

Its the middle of November and for many people, this is the perfect time to begin putting up Christmas trees, lights and joining in with the festivities but did you know that this activity is also the cause of a lot of injuries. It is estimated that in the UK, 350 people per year suffer injuries as a result of incidents such as falls from putting Christmas lights and decorations up high, electric shocks, burns and so much more. To help to keep you safe from injury this Christmas we have put together a selection of our top tips for staying safe whilst putting up Christmas decorations.

Electric Shocks:-
- When considering putting up Christmas lights, ensure that you test the lights first. If it is necessary to do so, buy some new lights which meet higher safety standards. A key way of identifying these is looking for a label or packaging with the BS Kite-mark. On average, 1 in 40 people have suffered an electrical shock due to Christmas lights which are badly wired.
- It is very easy to overload sockets at Christmas but this must be avoided at all costs. Overloading sockets can lead to dangers such as overheating. Overheating sockets can lead to. Electrical fires.
- If you are running cables around and extension cables consider buying something such as a cable guard. Not only does this reduce the risk of tripping over loose cables, if you have pets such as rabbits, dogs or cats it reduces the risk of them being able to chew through wires as this is a common thing for animals to try and do.
- Ensure that your electrical decorations are all switched off at night. Its is also good practice to show your guests how to do this.

Fires:-
Statistically, people are 50% more likely to die in a house fire over the Christmas period when compared to any other time of the year. This is because over the Christmas period there is a huge increase in house fires.
- The cause of these house fires is often small items such as paper decorations and Christmas cards as well as larger items such as the Christmas tree. To avoid these fires it is essential that flammable items such as these are kept as far away from heat sources as possible. Examples of these heat sources include things such as heaters, fires and candles.
- Before the Christmas period begins, check that your smoke alarms are working. This means that in the scenario of a fire starting you and everyone in the house is aware and therefore has enough time to leave the property. Also, ensure that your Carbon Monoxide alarm is tested and working.
- Lots of people choose to light small tea lights at Christmas, especially when in places such as the bath or relaxing due to a large majority of them being scented in festive fragrances. If you use these small tea lights ensure that they are kept within an appropriate glass container as this will prevent them from burning through things such as televisions and baths. Furthermore, before you go to bed, ensure that all candles are blown out.
- As the winters months becomes colder you may choose to have an open fire as not only is this extremely festive looking it is also a great way to heat up your home. However, if you do choose to do this ensure that your chimney has been thoroughly swept first.

Putting Decorations Up High:-
- It is very common practice at Christmas to put lights up high at Christmas such as on roofs and often the easiest way of doing this is to use a ladder. However, ladders can be very dangerous, especially if you are not experienced with using them. For this reason, ensure that you have somebody holding the ladder steady for you at all times and that this person is somebody such as an adult who is capable of doing so securely.
- Sometimes at Christmas people like to put decorations on the roofs and car-ports of their homes but on some homes this can be very dangerous, especially without the correct PPE or if the roof is old and unstable. Unstable roofs pose the potential to collapse under heavy, long sustained loads so therefore before undertaking this action it is essential to thoroughly assess the stability and safety of the roof and use correct PPE where possible.