The festive season is full of warmth and joy, but with all those fairy lights, flammable decorations and Christmas trees it can also be hazardous when it comes to the risks of fire. Here are our Christmas fire safety tips so you can stay safe at home and work.

Safety in The Home at Christmas

The home can be a dangerous place at Christmas, but with common sense it is possible to stay safe and still enjoy the festivities.

Fairy Lights

You should make sure that they have the correct fuse – never try to make a broken set work by using a higher rated fuse. Replace any blown bulbs right away, and consider buying a new set if your lights have any damage to the cable. Don’t leave them on when you are out, or in bed, and make sure they are not touching anything flammable. Beware of overloading sockets, however tempting it may be.

Candles

If you use candles, then keep them well away from children and anything that is flammable. You may be surprised just how far the heat from a candle can reach. If you have open flames in the house, then consider investing in a portable fire extinguisher.

Decorations

Many decorations are made of light tissue paper and cardboard, and therefore they will burn easily. Keep them away from heat sources such as lights and heaters, and never attach them to anything that will get hot. Keep them away from open flames such as candles.

Christmas Tree

A live Christmas tree, if it ignites, can fill a room with deadly gases. Choose a freshly cut tree – the trunk will be sticky to the touch. If needles are falling off, then it has dried out and will be a fire hazard. Locate your tree away from heat sources such as fireplaces and vents. Keep your tree stand filled with water to keep it moist. Dispose of the tree after two weeks, but never in a fireplace or stove – use a proper recycling centre.

Cooking

The Christmas dinner is a highlight of the year, but when you have a house full of relatives and a bottle of wine on the go it is easy to forget how long you have left the oven on! Most fires start in the kitchen, so do not leave the cooker unattended. Avoid cooking when you are under the influence of alcohol – there will be plenty of time for that later. And it goes without saying that flammable items such as Christmas trees and decorations do not belong anywhere near an oven or hob!

Smoke Alarms

Make sure you test your smoke alarms before Christmas and change the batteries if you have any doubts. Do not allow decorations to block your smoke alarm or it may not be able to detect smoke particles effectively. Only ever remove a battery from a smoke alarm if you are replacing it.

The government’s Christmas fire safety tips offer more advice on safety in the home at Christmas, including:
• Ensure Christmas tree lights have the British Standards kitemark
• Make sure visitors know how to escape in an emergency
• Check on older relatives – they are more at risk from fire

Christmas fire safety at work

The workplace also carries Christmas fire safety risks, so your responsible person will have a few extra things to consider. Your fire risk assessment may need updating if you put up decorations in the office, and you must make sure to avoid putting combustible items near to vents, heaters and fire-fighting equipment.

To see the GOV fire safety tips, take a look here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fire-safety-tips-for-christmas

Wishing You A Merry Christmas,

From everybody here at EFL!

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