The festive season is a busy time of the year, and with lots going on, it can be easy to become complacent when it comes to fire and home safety. Fire and safety hazards can be avoided by taking the following precautions:

Festive fire safety advice

  • • Switch off lights when unattended: During the festive season, switch off Christmas lights when going to bed or when leaving unattended for long periods of time.
  • • Inspect for defects: Carefully inspect Christmas light strings each year before putting them up. Discard any lights with frayed cords or loose connections. Ensure the correct wattage and voltage is used for replacement bulbs.
  • • Buy accredited lights and decorations: Ensure you choose quality over cost. Quality Christmas lights come with approval from accredited certification organisations stating that the products comply with applicable standards for safety and performance.
  • • Use only one extension cord: Do not consider doubling up on extension cords. It may be tempting to do so to gain more reach, but cords were not designed for this use. Stick to one and invest in longer cords if necessary.
  • • Do not use outdoor lights indoors: When hanging outdoor lights, ensure that the lights are suitable for the outdoors and not used indoors. Outdoor lights are insulated specially for that purpose.
  • • Don’t use candles as tree decorations: It may sound obvious, but candles are often used as festive tree decorations which is a very apparent fire risk.
  • • Buy a flame retardant tree: If you have an artificial tree, be sure that it is flame retardant. If it is not, buy a new one that is.

Home security ideas

  • • Lock your doors and windows: Sounds obvious, but the busy festive period can make us forget simple things like locking windows and doors, and with higher burglary rates around this time, it’s important to be vigilant in making your home secure.
  • • Don’t publicise holidays on social media: Free to access information can be used by criminals to find out when your house is vacant.
  • • Consider a timer switch for lights: A well-lit home is a deterrent for thieves and given that your home is likely to be full of expensive presents, it makes sense to not take any chances.
  • • Make your home alarm visible: Your home’s alarm should be easy to see, as it will ward off burglars and consider a monitored alarm. Home alarm systems that are monitored will allow the police to respond to an alarm event much more quickly.
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