Christmas is getting closer (whether we like it or not!) and with the endless preparation, it can be easy to overlook all the safety hazardous that can occur over this period. Here are a few things to consider to keep yourself and your family safe during the most wonderful time of the year.
One of the most important things you can do to stay safe over Christmas is to ensure that your smoke alarms are working. Over the festive period, people tend to adorn their homes with candles, and lights and maybe even light the fire if they’re lucky enough to have an open fireplace! While these additions bring a cosy atmosphere to homes and look lovely, they are fire risks, so they could be highly dangerous without a working smoke alarm. In the UK, house fires are most common in December than in any other month, with Christmas trees being the biggest cause of house fires. To keep yourself safe and reduce the risk of any accidents, place your tree in an open area away from any heat sources including candles.
If you are buying your children toys for Christmas, you should be sure to check that any gifts are for the correct age group and from reputable retailers. When purchasing toys, look for the CE or UKCA mark on the packaging. These marks are claims by the manufacturer that the toy meets regulatory requirements, without this, you may find that the product is a novelty gift and not intended for play which can be dangerous.
Young children are much more at vulnerable – especially to choking and you should be aware of the differences between the abilities of those in the same age group and children with special needs when choosing toys. Generally, you should avoid toys with small components, sharp edges and loose hair that can shed and be a choking hazard. If you follow all of these suggestions and find that there is still an accident involving your child and a toy marked as safe by the manufacturer, you may be able to make a claim.
Decorating the home is part of many people’s Christmas practices but you should be sure to take precautions while doing so. As well as ensuring that all of your Christmas lights are safe and in working order, you should be careful when working at heights such as when decorating the outside of your house.
If you require a ladder to hang up your lights and decorations, ensure that someone is anchoring your ladder and that you don’t lean across to secure the – instead move the ladder. When it comes to the Christmas tree, keeping this firmly anchored down is important too, especially when they are covered in decorations which can make them top heavy. Trailing wires and lights can also be a trip hazard, particularly for younger children and animals so try to remove these out of reach or attach them firmly to the walls or floor with tape.