In our latest guest blog, we’ve asked Unique Fire Protection to offer some tips on fire safety. Christmas is a wonderful time of year, but also one that is fraught with increased risk given the increased use of gas and electricity in our households.
Overloaded Plug Sockets
The older your house or flat is, the more likely that it will not have nearly enough plug sockets for swishy modern life. Everything that most people may consider an essential part of life runs on electricity these days, from mobile phones to laptops to gaming consoles. Add into the mix fairy lights and other decorations, and depending on the age of your residence, this will mean lots of adaptors and extension cords which any fire safety officer will tell you ups the risk of malfunction and fire.
Be vigilant about the use of extension cords and adaptors, make sure they’re safe for use with multiple items and where possible ensure they have safety features such as surge protectors and automatic cut-outs.
Let’s be honest, a lot of Christmas decorations are not the best quality. They’re usually made from dubious materials that can catch fire easily. This time of year we hear horror stories of family Christmasses gone badly wrong, thanks to or exacerbated by an excess of flammable material in peoples houses.
We don’t mean to play Scrooge here by shouting “bah humbug” at the very notion of Christmas and neither do we wish to discourage you from dressing up your residence. Just be mindful that decorations can be highly flammable and keep them away from exposed flames or anything that generates heat.
Elderly Relatives, Friends and Neighbours
As the weather gets colder its not just your own household you should be concerned about. Be sure to check on elderly friends, relatives and neighbours who will be using electric and gas fires more often.
It’s always helpful to just have a check on where fires and heaters are positioned and without looking as though you’re casing the joint – do some basic fire checks. They may not be aware of fire safety and the range of flammable materials they have in their homes. Even if you can’t visit them in person you can have the conversation by phone or Zoom.
As with a lot of Christmas decorations, fairy lights can be very poor quality. Having so many individual bulbs greatly increases the possibility of burnouts and electrical surges, which very often lead to fires. As a result, it is highly recommended that you turn off any Christmas lights overnight or even when you’re not in the room. For greater reassurance unplug the lights from the socket altogether when they’re not in use.
Look Out for Safety Signage
To ensure your fairy lights and Christmas decorations are safe – there is no better way than to check whether it has any safety signs. Most Christmas lights should have the British Safety Council logo or if they’re made outside of Britain, the Conformité Européenne (European Conformity), which means they have been tested to a sufficient degree and passed health, safety and environmental standards.
Be Careful With Candles
Always make sure that your candles are fully extinguished before leaving the room. Keep them well away from any Christmas cards, wrapping paper, decorations or curtains. Don’t leave them where young children can reach them or where pets could knock them over. You could even consider a safer alternative such as battery-powered candles or electrical ones.
Awareness is the key to reduce unnecessary risks. Taking simple steps to minimise fire risks means you’ll be able to relax into the Christmas period without taking chances on your safety.
How Can Unique Fire Protection Help?
Unique Fire Protection offers clear, practical, impartial advice to help you sort out your complete fire protection needs. They have a range of solutions, to find out more, call their friendly team of advisors on 01922 862207 or fill in a contact form.
Any Queries on Insurance?
If you’re at all concerned about your home or other insurance, please give Jukes Insurance Brokers a call on 01527 874092 for friendly, independent advice.