For many people, the festive season is the most beautiful time of the year. However, with all the glitz and bright lights comes some risk, particularly a fire risk. Fortunately, we’ve been provided with an expert guide on fire safety, which should help ensure that everyone has a fun, safe, and stress-free holiday period.
As we approach the festive season, people become more adventurous in the kitchen, with Christmas gatherings beginning to take priority. Now that homes are starting to be lit with Christmas lights and candles and delicious seasonal dishes are cooking on the stove, fire safety is an increasing concern. We can all do some simple checks and simple things to minimise any risk, and in this guide produced by Heatingforce.co.uk and Alex Ions, we’ll be taking you through them.
Top 5 fire risks and how to avoid
1. Don’t overcrowd electrical outlets
Electrical circuits in the home have been designed only to handle a certain amount of electricity. If you exceed the rated local for the circuit wiring, you could cause the circuit breaker to ‘trip’, resulting in a shut off of power to the entire circuit. Christmas lights can also add to the overall fire risk unless you use them correctly. Therefore, avoid overcrowding the electrical outlets and make sure that you only use extension leads whenever necessary.
2. Don’t run cables underneath carpets
Something that often pops up during the festive period is running out of sockets for decorations and lights on one side of the room. Never be tempted to run another socket under a carpet or rug. There is an obvious reason for not doing this, and it is related to walking on the cables. When people do this, it causes the cable to compress, which breaks down the insulation increasing the risk of a fire.
3. Position candles away from decorations
Candles around the Christmas tree may add to the festive decor, but it is not safe. Always place the candles on a stable surface away from the tree, decor and soft furnishings. It is very important that you never leave them unattended and also put lighters away after using them. After lighting candles, always let matches cool in a metal or ceramic dish before throwing them away.
4. Swap candles for LED versions
Faux candles are a great invention, and nowadays, they look almost identical to the real thing at night. They are ideal things to increase the festive spirit and are particularly useful for those with young children or pets with a tendency to knock things over in the home.
5. Keep your tree away from sources of heat, particularly fireplaces and heat vents.
Heat causes a tree to dry out, making it much easier to ignite through flames or sparks. Although smoking is considered a thing of the past, some still enjoy lighting up, and cigarette ash dropped or flicked in the wrong place can result in a tree catching fire.
Alex Ion’s advice on how to deck your walls sensibly, “Christmas should be a fun time of year that allows for the creation of a festive space in your home. However, it is important to ensure safety is also put at the forefront. It would be best if you didn’t hang decorations near candles, fireplaces, Christmas lights, or radiators to avoid problems. Your garland may look like it’s safe above your fireplace, but it may accidentally fall down, or an ember could catch onto it, causing a fire risk.
It is also sensible to minimise decorations in your kitchen. To decrease the danger of a fire starting, keep decorations well away from hobs. When in the kitchen preparing food, you should ensure that you are focussing on what you are doing as it is easy to become distracted by conversation, particularly when you have guests around for Christmas. This seems like a given but can be forgotten when you are in the grips of entertaining and eager to serve up food, but make sure you turn everything off.
Perhaps most importantly, test your fire alarm.”
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