The month of December sure can be cosy with all those twinkling little lights and bright candles that we like to use to cheer up our homes in this long, dark season. Unfortunately, dangling wires and unattended candles are just accidents waiting to happen. Here is how to stay safe in your home this holiday season.
Christmas Lights Safety
It is tempting to overload power sockets at this time of the year. You might think it won't do any harm to just add one more string of Christmas lights, but too many power plugs in one socket will result in excessive current. While, generally, this just causes a fuse to blow, it may also cause a fire to break out. In any case, it is good idea to check that your Christmas lights are in good operative order before using them, and be sure not to leave any wires dangling, where someone might trip over them.
It is also very dangerous to throw water on a burning Christmas tree that is decorated with electric lights, especially when these lights are plugged into a wall socket. Keep a fire extinguisher handy throughout the holiday period so you can act quickly if anything were to go wrong.
Christmas Tree Safety
Put your Christmas tree in a safe place where there is no danger of people bumping into it and place it on top of a stable surface or on the floor. A tree with the roots attached won't dry out as quickly as a tree with a sawn-off trunk. If the latter is the type of Christmas tree you have chosen, you can keep the tree from drying out by placing it in a bucket of water or in a bucket of wet sand.
Spraying artificial snow on your Christmas tree may add to the general atmosphere, but you should keep in mind that this stuff is highly flammable, so from a safety point of view it is a bad idea. You might also have heard that spraying a Christmas tree with hairspray can prevent the needles from dropping, but as hairspray is also extremely flammable, it is dangerous to do so.
A good idea is to always turn off the Christmas lights before going to bed.
Christmas Decoration Safety
When hanging or placing other pieces of Christmas decoration, take care that the pieces don't come into direct contact with the Christmas lights or any other electrical devices that generate heat. One solution to protect your Christmas decoration is to impregnate the pieces with a fire-retardant spray. This method is commonly used in hotels and restaurants, but it can also be used in the home. You can use a fire-retardant spray to protect your Christmas tree, the centrepieces for the table, all your Christmas decoration, and you can even use it on curtains and table linen.
Christmas Candles Safety
It is best to place candles in a sturdy holder and on a stable surface. Wooden holders or holders made from other flammable materials, like plastic, are not a good idea. When placing large church-like candles in an arrangement on the floor, make sure that they are kept at a safe distance from curtains or draped fabrics over tables or chairs. Never leave a burning candle unattended, and never leave a child or pet alone with burning candles. Now is a good time to check that all smoke alarms in your home are working properly and that they have fresh batteries.
If a fire were to break out, it is important to act quickly. Being prepared and having a plan of action will stand you in good stead in case something goes wrong. Click here to find more information on fire safety during the holiday season.