posted on 09 December 2016
Pinpoint Property's Christmas Safety Precautions
The rate of incidents of fires in the home increase by up to 9% over Christmas. During the holidays, it is common for people to decorate the inside and outside of their home with lighting, and other types of electrical accessories. Although most decorations are manufactured to withstand the holiday season, improper and unsafe usage can increase your chances of experiencing an electrical fire. Please read Pinpoint Property's Christmas Safety Precautions to help prevent electrical fires from occurring, and keep both your home and your family safe. First things first - test your smoke alarm every week and use Christmas as a reminder to clean it and remove dust.
- Check your Christmas tree lights are in good working order and conform to the British Safety Standard. Inspect them…they should not display any loose or frayed wires, loose or cracked bulbs, or any other physical faults and replace bulbs in light strings with those of the same wattage, when applicable otherwise you can potentially cause the entire string of lights to overheat and start a fire.
- Only use lights and electrical decorations that are approved for outdoor use. Outdoor lights and decorations are often manufactured to withstand rain, snow, and other harsh elements. Using decorations that are approved for indoor-use outside may trigger an electrical fire when they come into contact with certain elements.
- Never overload electrical sockets.
- Keep all extension cords and strings of lights suspended up and away from standing water and snow. If extension cords and wiring come into contact with standing water, they can trigger an electrical fire or cause electrocution.
- Turn off or unplug all electrical decorations when leaving the house or going to sleep. Leaving your decorations unsupervised means that nobody is around to notice any fire that might start. Lights and other electrical components become overheated due to being left on for an extended period of time.
- Buy fresh, green trees instead of trees that are dry and losing pine needles. Fresh trees are less flammable and less likely to ignite; whereas dry trees can catch fire when they come into contact with very warm or hot lights. •Purchase a fire-resistant or flame-retardant tree if you decide on an artificial tree instead of a live tree.
- Never hang decorations over heat sources or place lit candles near your Christmas tree, decorations or furnishings, or near an open window which might blow curtains over the flame… and never leave them unattended.
- Check your home insurance is in date and at that the level of cover is appropriate – especially if its been some time since you reviewed it. Make sure it covers all the contents of your home including all the presents you have purchased for other people and check the small print! Pinpoint Property offer free and independent financial advice via Patricia McKillop of PMK Financial Services if you want to check you have the best insurance product to fit your needs
- We at Pinpoint Property don’t expect it to be a white Christmas this year, and we don’t imagine it will be a dry one…in any respect! Last year the fire service attended 49 accidental house fires over Christmas – almost half of which were caused by cooking or cooking appliances such as grill pans, cookers or chip pans left unattended. Why not plan ahead? Have something ready to eat in the fridge for when you come home after a night burning up the calories on the dance floor so you’re not tempted to cook and you’re not too tired to stay awake to see it through.
Now that you've read through our safety advice, look again at our cover picture. Do you think any differently of it?