Christmas is full of fun and festivities, at least it should be. But any Health and Safety professional will tell you that there are many ways in which things can go wrong, things can get a bit risky out there. We don’t mean to be the party pooper, but you’d be surprised how many accidents or worse occur during this time.
Research commissioned by The National Accident Helpline showed that 49% of study participants reported experiencing accidents while cooking Christmas dinner. 1 in 40 people has experienced an electric shock while handling Christmas lights. They estimate that over half a million people have had a fire in their home during the Christmas period.
Health and safety at Christmas is no joke. So to ensure that you have a magical Christmas here are the top 4 health and safety hazards that you should watch out for.
Christmas Trees Are A Fire Hazard
Fake, or real, all Christmas trees pose a fire risk. Even though they are not the most common cause of fire they are still full of danger which should be managed.
Ideally, you should:
# Keep real trees watered, to avoid it drying out and posing more of a risk.
# Choose sturdy stands so that your trees don’t tip over. A fallen tree can be a fire risk but also a danger to anybody near the tree (especially small children and animals).
# Your tree should be clear from all heat sources (around 3 feet away).
Christmas Light Cautions
Christmas lights are beautiful and festive, but they don’t come without their own set of hazards. Here are some vital health and safety advice on how to keep your Christmas lights safe this year.
# If you want to go heavy with the lights, make sure you have the power source to back it up. Don’t connect more than three strings of lights to one socket.
# Don’t use outdoor lights indoors, or vice versa – that’s a hazard right there!
# Don’t leave your Christmas lights on at night, or when you are out, they are a fire hazard – you should always unplug them.
# Check for frayed wires and discard the lights if you find some!
# If you have pets (especially cats) keep checking the wires to make sure they haven’t become frayed while in use.
Tone Down The Candles
It’s no coincidence that many of the fires mentioned above are candle -related. That’s because we tend to have more candles around during the Christmas season, and of course, open flames always pose significant health and safety risk.
To reduce the risk:
# Don’t leave candles unattended, no matter how nice they look.
# Make sure that the candle is nowhere near any decorations.
# Ensure that the tree or any decorations cannot fall into the flame.
# Don’t keep live candles if there are children or animals running around
# Be mindful of how many candles are around if you have lots of visitors.
Be Careful With Children’s Fancy Dress Costumes
The Consumer’s Association frequently warns parents that many fancy dress costumes may not meet the necessary fire standards.
It’s also common for children to dress up at Christmas time in their new dressing up outfits – there are probably many princesses and superheroes sitting at the Christmas dinner table.
The dangerous combination of risky clothing (from the fancy dress outfits) and open flame sources such as candles or a roaring fire is something that no family will want to experience.
To avoid this issue:
# Buy dressing up outfits from reputable sellers – such as from the high street rather than boutiques or online stores like eBay or Amazon.
# Follow the health and safety guidelines featured in this article, particularly on candles.
# Keep children in costumes far away from open fires or any sparks that can come from an open fire.
Christmas may be a wonderful time for many, but we often tend to have a bias that ‘accidents and harm won’t happen to us’. But it happens to many people every single year. Don’t let this be you this year by taking these health and safety precautions and enjoying a safe and happy Christmas.