Christmas is a magical time, filled with laughter, mince pies, tinsel and cosy fires. With our thoughts preoccupied with the joy this holiday brings, safety tends to be one of the last things on our mind in the run up to Christmas.

To help you avoid any accidents, here are our top tips on staying safe during the festive period… 

Keep your tree and presents out of sight from public view

These items are an obvious target for burglars. Avoid leaving presents under your Christmas tree if they are visible from windows or doors as they are easily accessible, instead hide them in a secure place, such as the loft.

Double check your Christmas lights

Lights can deteriorate over time, bringing the risk of shocks, burns and could even be a potential fire hazard. So before using lights, remember to test them and conduct a visual inspection of the wiring.

When buying lights, make sure they carry the British safety standard sign and try to opt for low-voltage lighting as it removes the risk of electric shocks.

Finally, always turn lights off and unplug them when you’re going to bed or leaving the house to reduce the risk of fires.

Are your decorations causing a hazard?

There’s always more risk of falls if there’s a lot of decorations and people around. If you have young children in your house, keep them away from decorations that may have dangerous parts or are quite small - perhaps place them on high shelves.

When you’re putting up or taking down items always use a sturdy ladder and get another person to help if it’s too heavy. Before assembling the tree ensure it’s on a stable base as you don’t want it to fall over and cause an injury or fire.

Remember, never put flammable items on or near heat sources, such as candles, heaters or open fires. Furthermore, if you have a real tree keep it away from open sources of heat as it can get dry and go up in flames very quickly.

Don’t rush the Christmas dinner

Most fires start in the kitchen. And with the additional excitement that comes with Christmas means that it can become a much more dangerous place.

To prevent any accidents, avoid leaving a cooker unattended, try not to rush around and keep people in the kitchen to a bare minimum.

Be aware of electrical goods

Research from the charity Electrical Safety First (ESF) discovered that this year millions more UK shoppers will shop online for Christmas gifts – including electrical goods. However, be weary as their investigation found that many electrical items being sold online via third parties are unsafe.

So simply, if you can’t buy goods instore, visit websites of known, reputable manufactures. When looking online, be cautious of positive unverified reviews, always look for websites that allow you to pay safely (have a padlock symbol on your screen when you’re filling in your payment details) and double check the spelling and design on packaging and instructions.

If you’re purchasing a new appliance, register it online for manufacturers’ product recall and safety updates. You can do this here:

Keep your health in check!

As it’s chilly, you’re most likely to have your heating on. So, to keep your home warm invest in draft excluders and cover bare, wooden floors with a rug.

There we have it! Our list of top tips to ensure you have a safe, fun and memorable Christmas!

On a final note, during this period, and especially because of lockdown, check in on loved ones who are living alone with a quick phone call, or an unexpected Christmas card - these simple acts can go a long way in brightening up someone’s day.

Family putting up Christmas decorations.

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