Stay Safe this Christmas
With the Christmas Light Switch On event on the 30th November in Aberystwyth, and Christmas seemingly everywhere on the highstreet already, it seemed fitting to write an article about keeping safe this festive season.
Who doesn’t love the twinkling lights, the excuse to throw as much tinsel and fairy lights around a room as you can? We focus on the main hazards in your home this Christmas season.
Statistics state that 85% of people said they will be putting up Christmas lights in 2018, which is a huge number – and how many make sure that the lights are properly maintained? Tangled Christmas lights can cause frayed wires or damaged insulation. Take a good look at your lights this year before putting them up, and when packing them away in January take extra care not to tangle or loop too tightly (and keep them in a dry place!). If you find any fault with your lights, we’d highly recommend that you stop using them immediately.
Another problem with fairy lights is that unless they are obviously damaged, or don’t switch on, many people will reuse the same set for years. The older the set, the more of a hazard they will become. That’s not to say buy a new set every year, but be aware of the condition of the set you are using.
And finally, tempting as it is, always make sure you buy specifically “outdoor” fairy lights – they have a higher duty wire coating, and a seal on the bulb socket to help withstand the wet weather conditions.
A real Christmas tree is an obvious hazard, but it tends to come down to how well you keep the tree. An easy mistake to make is to not water your real tree, which means the tree itself will dry out, and become more of a fire hazard. Secondly, a “trick” to keep the needles on is to cover your tree in hairspray – this is a huge fire hazard, and a big no-no from us.
Finally, don’t be tempted to leave your Christmas lights on while you sleep. They may look lovely to the outside world in the long nights, but are just creating a hazard for you in the house.
If, on the other hand, you don’t feel the need for a real tree, you can buy a fire-resistant tree (it may also be labelled as fire retardant).
Naturally with the addition of so many fairy lights over the house for Christmas, the extension cables tend to come out. Be sure not to overload the extension cords – not only for the hazard, but it could be tricky to get an electrician out over the festive season too.