Spare a little thought this Christmas for the safety of your family when decorating your home. When you’re decorating the tree and hanging up the lights keep an eye out for some of these Yuletide mistakes that could risk the health and safety of your family and any festive visitors to your home.
1. Xmas Lights
Before you hang your tree with last year’s twinkling lights carefully inspect them for frayed cords, cracked bulb holders and loose connections. If you find some of the bulbs need replacing make sure you unplug the light string from the electricity supply first. Only replace bulbs with those of a matching voltage and wattage. Don’t leave your lights on if you’re planning to go and when you go to bed.
2. Check for Compliance Marks
If you’re going to go with outdoor lights only use those that have been checked for outdoor safety. Look for a CE mark to ensure that the lights you buy meet the required standards for outdoor use. Timers, extension cords, light strings and other electrical decorations should all bear a compliance mark so you can sure that they’re safe to use, whether it’s inside or out.
3. Outdoor Lights
Keep the electrical connectors off the ground and away from rain gutters and drain pipes. Use insulation tape or plastic clips rather than metal nails or tacks to hold them in place. Use a ladder to hang lights up out of reach and make sure there’s someone footing it at the bottom.
4. Extension Leads
Only use one lead and never be tempted to plug two or more together. Only use a lead that is long enough for your needs and not one that’s too long and risks becoming tangled or creating a trip hazard.
5. Test Your Alarms
This should form part of your annual maintenance checks so if you haven’t already done so check your fire alarms are still functional. The risk of fire increases at this time of year so it’s good to know your warning system is operational.
Christmas is a time for lots of fun activities that involve all the family but it’s also a time when the risk of accidents and injury greatly increase. Spend a few minutes this year ensuring your Yuletide will be fun and exciting, as it’s supposed to be.