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Have a very Merry (and safe) Christmas

Written by:
Alex Garmston
Posted On:
8th December 2018

Have you seen our Festive Fire Safety Tips competition? For the past eleven days, we have been sharing hints, tips and advice on our social media pages to help keep you safe this Christmas, but also to give a chance to win an iPad and Fitbit bundle! If you missed them, here are our 11 hints, tips and pieces of advice:

1. Keep your trees away from heat sources.
2. Always turn Christmas lights off before leaving your house or going to sleep.
3. Be careful not to overload your electrical circuits or extension cords.
4. Water fresh trees daily, a dry tree will burn at a faster rate.
5. Over the Christmas period you may find that you are very busy in the kitchen, don’t get distracted and leave cooking food unattended.
6. Is your house covered? The British standard BS 5839-6 recommends a minimum of LD2 for most domestic properties. LD3 purely covers the escape routes and most fires do not start in these areas.
7. Popular gifts include technology items such as iPads, mobile phones and laptops, it is useful to be aware of the risks posed by charging phones under pillows and overnight.
8. With the cold weather and firing up of boilers, have you checked your background CO levels – Did you know that an AudioLINK download will provide a full report of any CO present in the vicinity of the alarm as well as the alarm status, even low background levels of CO that wouldn’t necessarily activated the alarm will show in the report?
9. Do you know the sound your alarms make? Do you have a home fire escape plan? Does everyone know what this is?
10. You might be just starting to put up your decorations or have had them up for a few weeks, either way, it is a good idea to check for frayed or damaged electrical cords and ensure that you are not overloading your electrical sockets.
11. Dirty chimneys can cause chimney fires – ensure that you clean your chimney.

With Christmas just around the corner, here is a bit more detail on how to maximise safety this holiday season.

Deck the halls

If you’re like me, you will already have your Christmas decorations up at home. If not, you might be looking to put them up soon. Either way, as lovely as Christmas decorations are, they can be a fire hazard.
For those of you who will have a real Christmas tree this year, it is important to remember to water your tree. Yes, this may help to keep it fresh, but more importantly, it will keep your home safe at Christmas. Many Fire and Rescue Services put out a video at this time of year to show the extreme differences between a watered tree and a dry tree that sets on fire. The dry tree burns incredibly quicker. Of course, we advise making sure whichever room your Christmas tree is in, has a fire alarm fitted and that you regularly test it.

If you’re not sure how to test your alarm, check out our quick and easy guide here.

Light it up

The other thing to check when putting up your decorations, is the condition of your electrical decorations. Many of us will bring down the decorations from our attics, forgetting that they have been sat in the attic all year and don’t check them before putting them up. Before you put your lights on your tree or plug in any free-standing electrical decorations, check their cables for any splits or frays. Lastly, if you like a lot of lights on your tree, try not to overload any extension cables with too many plugs, and remember to turn these off before leaving the house or going to bed.

Cooking up a feast

No matter what your family’s tradition for Christmas dinner is, make sure it’s a safe one. Many of us this time of year will over indulge in big, tasty meals and this means that for one or two people, there will be a lot of cooking to be done this festive period. Although there will be a lot going on, and probably many people invading the kitchen, don’t get distracted and leave your cooking unattended. A Heat Alarm or a Heat and Carbon Monoxide alarm if your boiler is in your kitchen, will give you additional protection this Christmas – an Ei3028 would be ideal for this.

Of course, these are just a few little reminders of things to watch out for this Christmas, and we hope our festive fire safety tips have helped this year. As this is our last blog post of 2018, may I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New year from all of us at Aico!


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