It’s the most wonderful time of year! The holidays are great for family, friends, and fun. But sometimes people forget to think about Christmas fire safety. We want you to have a safe holiday season, so we’ve compiled some tips to keep your home safe and enjoyable during this special time.
Celebrations can come crashing down if Christmas fire safety isn’t adhered to. Christmas oddly can be a dangerous time if you’re not careful. Luckily, there are some simple steps that you can take to keep your home fire safe during the holidays. Fire Safety this Bonfire Night.
Christmas Fire Safety – The Christmas Decorations
We at OHEAP Fire & Security, understand that Christmas fire safety is probably very low on the agenda. Additionally, we know, fires can be catastrophic. Simple measures can be taken to drastically reduce the risk of a fire.
Decorations are a fire risk, so it’s important to be careful with them. Make sure they’re kept away from heat sources and don’t hang things that can catch fire (like ribbons or tinsel).
Choose fire-retardant decorations as part of your Christmas fire safety. Decorations that are non-flammable or flame-retardant are a far better option when fireproofing your home.
- Check that your Christmas lights conform to the British Standards
- Choose decorations that are flame-resistant or flame retardant
- Keep lit candles away from decorations
- Never use lit candles to decorate your Christmas tree
- Never place candles near your Christmas tree, decorations, wrapping paper or furnishings
- Never attach decorations to lights or heaters
- Keep heaters away from soft furnishings and decorations
The mixture of Christmas lights, decorations and power sockets can be a deadly combination if not managed correctly.
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Christmas Fire Safety – The Christmas Tree
Christmas trees are still trees and therefore they are still fuel for a fire.
Choose a tree that is fresh, fully budded, and free from needles that drop freely from the branches. Avoid trees in which the trunk feels soft or spongy; they may be more likely to catch fire. Never leave an artificial Christmas tree lit when you go to sleep or leave home.
As a fuel source trees burn very well. If real Christmas trees aren’t your thing then perhaps ensuring your artificial tree is flame retardant could be a good idea.
Check the water level in your Christmas tree regularly as a dry Christmas tree is far more likely to catch fire. Real trees drink up to two pints of water a day and can sit in a bucket of water for constant access to hydration. Also, what does watering your tree have to do with fire resistance?
Well, moisture will help prevent the spread of a fire and a well-watered tree will hold that moisture. Although it will still likely catch fire, it will take a lot longer meaning you have longer to escape the building if needed.
- Keep the tree away from heat sources. The heat can dry out the tips of the branches and cause them to catch fire more easily.
- Don’t put it too close to a fireplace, radiator or wood stove; the smoke may discolour your tree’s needles and cause them to drop off prematurely.
- Make sure you purchase a fresh Christmas tree and don’t settle for something that has been cut for longer than a week or so prior to use (or else it will start drying out). Remember: these are highly flammable.
Christmas fire safety can be done easily with very few changes to your lifestyle.
Christmas Fire Safety – The Power Sockets
Overloaded sockets cause fires. When too many things are plugged into a single socket it becomes overloaded.
When the voltage provided by the electrical supply is less than what is needed to power all of the devices it causes overheating. Additionally, it increases the likelihood of a destructive fire. Any overloaded sockets will drastically affect Christmas fire safety.
Over the Christmas holiday period, sockets are more likely to be overcrowded with plugs needed to light up your home and tree.
- Make sure that you do not overload any socket by using extension leads, double adapters or trailing sockets.
- Be mindful to not overload extension leads/plug sockets.
- Do not place any electrical equipment under a rug, carpet or cloth.
- Make sure that all electrical appliances are switched off when not in use and unplugged from the mains.
The overloaded socket can cause a fire. To avoid this, make sure to only use the number of power sockets that you need. If you have too many things plugged in, unplug some of them until you only have what you need plugged in.
Fire Safety – Portable Heaters
Christmas fire safety is crucial. Experts are warning that portable heaters should not be used in the home unless absolutely necessary.
In Winter it makes sense to choose a portable heater for your home. You can move them around or take them with you if you need to, and they’ll provide the heat you need in any room. But portable heaters are less safe than central heating systems because they’re easier to tip over or knock over accidentally.
They also use electricity, so there’s always a risk of fire when using one improperly.
- Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room.
- Keep them away from flammable items, like curtains or clothing.
- Don’t use them in bedrooms or other enclosed areas where there is no way to ventilate smoke and fumes.
Portable heaters are more dangerous than permanent ones. This is because they’re easy to use incorrectly and can cause fires if they aren’t used properly.
Fire Safety – Candles
The best way to be safe with candles is to keep them out of reach of children, pets, and anything that could catch fire. If you’re using candles in a decorative way, make sure they are in candle holders designed for the purpose. Also, make sure to keep them away from any flammable materials such as curtains or clothing. You should also make sure that there is nothing near the candle that could catch fire if it were dropped or knocked over.
In addition, don’t leave the room while your candle is burning. Accidents can happen when we least expect them. If you need to step away from your candle while it’s lit, make sure someone else is with you or nearby who can watch it until you return.
Also, if you want to use candles as a centrepiece or in other ways that would put them within reach of children or pets, make sure they are kept on an elevated surface where they can’t be reached by little fingers.
As you can see, there are many ways to be safe and enjoy the holidays! Hopefully, this article helped you understand what you need to do in order to keep yourself and your family safe.
Christmas fire safety is a serious issue and it’s important to take the necessary precautions to ensure your home stays safe. Make sure your smoke alarms are working properly before using new candle holders or using any decorations that could start fires.
Don’t leave candles unattended, especially near other flammable objects like curtains or carpeting! If you need something lit up during the holidays then use low-level lights instead.