How to stay safe from fire at Christmas
Have you decorated your home for Christmas yet? Pulling the decorations out of the loft and stringing up the lights you’ve had for years may be very nostalgic. However, it can also put your home at risk of fire. How many years have you had those lights exactly? Did you buy them or were they inherited from someone else who was throwing them out? Have they ever been safety tested? Are your decorations a disaster waiting to happen?
Did you know, you are more likely to die in a house fire in December than at any other time of year? Scary thought….
Fire can engulf a room in less than 1 minute
Christmas decorations don’t help the problem. The flammable nature of Christmas cards, paper chains and tinsel mean they’re all just itching to go up in smoke in the event of an electric fire.
So what can you do to avoid the chance of an electrical fire this Christmas?
Keep your tree well hydrated to avoid fire
Watch the difference that daily watering can make in the event of a tree fire.
Never leave Christmas lights on unattended or overnight
It may be tempting to leave your lights on while you’re out to provide your home with that ‘warm festive glow’. However, if they spark due to a fault then your home may be producing a ‘warm glow’ of another sort entirely. Hint: the results aren’t so festive…..
Ensure your home has a smoke alarm
A simple battery-powered smoke alarm can literally save your life. Ensure your alarms are fitted to the ceiling in your kitchen and at the top and bottom of your stairs. Check your alarms are working on a weekly basis #TestitTuesday.
Free home fire safety checks are available from Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service. This means you can get a fire safety expert out to your home completely free of charge. They’ll even fit smoke alarms for you if needed. More information here; https://www.hwfire.org.uk/safety-and-advice/home-safety/home-fire-safety-check/
Are your Christmas lights safe?
Old fairy lights can pose a serious fire risk. For instance, lights can become damaged while in the loft and while being moved in and out of their packaging. Depending on how old the lights are they may not have the appropriate plug protection. Remember, “if in doubt, throw them out”
- ALWAYS inspect lights prior to use. Check for damaged or frayed wires, corrosion on any metal elements and loose plugs.
- NEVER use ‘indoor’ lights outdoors. This will be clearly marked on the packaging. If in doubt, don’t take any unnecessary risks.
- NEVER attempt to repair lights yourself. Exposed wires can cause a fire even if covered with electrical tape. Modern LED lights are cheap and readily available. Don’t risk your families life for a tenner….
- Finally, CONSIDER investing in modern LED lights as these do not produce heat and are therefore less likely to cause a fire. Modern fairy lights are also tested for safety. Look for the CE mark to ensure compliance with European regulations.
Decorate your home with care at Christmas
Open flames from fireplaces and candles can consume a home in minutes if allowed to spread. Keep flammable materials and liquids well away from sources of fire. Consider where you’re stringing your Christmas cards. If they fall down, will they land on that candle?
Don’t overload your sockets
We’re all quick to reach for extension leads to plug in all our additional devices at Christmas. This can put a massive strain on your sockets and increase the likelihood of an electrical fire occurring.
Check out the electrical socket calculator from Electrical Safety First to see just how much strain domestic appliances put on your sockets.
Here at Epic Global Group, we are committed to keeping you safe from electrical and gas fires. If you require any advice regarding your electrical system at home or work then we welcome you to call us on 01432 341234 for a consultation.
Need to contact us in an emergency? Call us on 07973 787327 for an immediate response 24hrs a day.