Christmas should be the time of good cheer, festive fun and happy family get-togethers. Unfortunately Christmas also brings with it an increase in accidents in the home and the festive decorations can sometimes provide more than just a little extra sparkle.
According to ROSPA about 1,000 people end up visiting hospital after accidents involving Christmas trees and another 1,000 are hurt either by decorations or while putting them up while 350 are injured in accidents involving Christmas tree lights. The Government warns that people are 50 per cent more likely to die in a house fire over the Christmas period.
Adrian Flux Insurance Services has put together seven star tips on Christmas safety.
- Remember Christmas decorations are not toys. They are not produced to the same safety standards as toys and can have loose parts and trims that can cause a choking hazard to younger children.
- Try to avoid trailing wires across the floor. It may well take a bit more planning to site the tree or other electrical decorations nearer the power socket, but it will save the time and anguish caused if someone trips over and gets badly hurt.
- Clear away unused decorations and boxes as these cause more tripping hazards and can easily be accessed by children and pets.
- If you are putting up high level decorations make sure you use a step ladder or have someone to hold the bottom of a regular ladder. Position the steps or ladder so that you can reach without stretching. Serious accidents can occur by falling awkwardly from even a short height.
- Candles cast a lovely warm festive light but never leave them burning unattended and make sure that they are not near any overhanging decorations or curtains.
- Safety standards on Christmas tree lights are constantly being upgraded so if your lights are quite old it might be time to buy some new ones. If the lights are to be used outside check they are designed for this purpose. Always turn off the lights before going to bed or going out.
- Make sure the Christmas tree is placed in a stable position before starting to decorate. It’s worth taking time to get this right as it can get pretty hectic during the festivities and a slight nudge from an over-excited child could be disastrous.
Going on holiday is an annual institution. It’s a time to relax, unwind and forget the cares of the world. But it’s also a great time for burglars. They know there are lots of empty properties around, and cruise the streets looking for easy homes to target. Worse still, they may also have been monitoring your behavior and waiting for you to leave.
There are some easy precautions you can take to deter burglars. But even the best security measures will not put off a determined burglar, so make sure your home insurance policy is fully paid up and that you have adequate cover. If you are going away for longer than two weeks, it is probably best to check with your insurance company that there are no exclusions likely to kick into action.
In an attempt to cut down the on number of break-ins while property owners are on holiday, Adrian Flux Insurance Services has put together six top tips to deter burglars.
- Make sure you have locked up properlyo look around for windows that may have been left open.
- Don’t leave garden tools outside, not only as they might get stolen but they may help the burglar gain access to your home.
- Burglars don’t like to be watched while they are breaking in, so cut back bushes to make sure there are no hiding places.
- Make your home looked lived in. Find a neighbour who can open and close the curtains, manage the post and clear up rubbish. If this is not possible there are timed switches for lighting on the market and even automatic timed curtain tracks for opening and closing the curtains.
- Move valuables away from the window so the inquisitive burglar won’t be able to assess what you’ve got. If you’ve got some spare time you could even follow this tutorial and make a false book to keep small valuables safe.
- Don’t put a name and address label on your luggage. This not only tells thieves you are not at home but also where to go to get your goodies. A mobile phone number is a better form of identification.
Take a look around at other sites on the web such as Response Electronics and Absolute Security. Although they are primarily selling security devices they do have some good information to offer. And for unbiased advice visit Crime Stoppers who, like Batman, are only interested in fighting crime.
With the Olympics on the not-so-distant horizon, it’s a good time for sports fans to start looking at accommodation near the events. Unfortunately this can come with a high price tag. So it’s a great opportunity to get the caravan off the driveway and visit some of the action around the country, without having to spend an arm and a legon hotels.
With events taking place throughout the country, many established and temporary caravan sites are providing special offers for the Olympic games. Here the caravan insurance specialists at Adrian Flux suggest some of the best caravan sites that are near to the main events.
- There’s so much happening in central London that caravan sites in the surrounding area will be packed out. Early booking is recommended. The Elm campsite is only seven tube stops away from the Olympic park and the main stadium, so it is very central to many of the events. The campsite will also be creating their own ‘sporting village’ atmosphere, by erecting a marquee and TV, so even if you are not lucky enough to have tickets you can still watch the events.
- Another site, Camping 2012, located just off the M25, is also a great location for the 2012 games. It claims to be only 15 minutes from central London, with camping pitches from 20 pounds per night. There is a bus service running to central line train stations to make access to central London even easier. They will also provide a marquee, open daily, with a bar and live coverage of the Olympic events. If you’re unsure about getting from the campsite to the games they’ve made a video diary of the journey.
- There are also many events happening outside of central London. The Lee Valley Water Centre, VeloPark, Hockey and Tennis Centre which are all located along the 26-mile-long Lee Valley Regional Park. The Lee Valley Camping and Caravan Park in Edmonton offers peace and quiet away from the central buzz of the Olympics in London.
- Another sport taking place outside of London is mountain biking, at Hadleigh Farm in Essex. Staying here is a great opportunity to combine your trip to the Olympic games with a seaside holiday. Riverside Village Holiday Park is close to Hadleigh Farm, the seaside and also easily accessible to London.
- The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff is hosting some of the men’s and women’s football and is situated right in the heart of Cardiff. However there are plenty of caravan sites that offer affordable and easily accessible accommodation nearby, such as the Llandow Caravan Park is around a 30-minute drive from the stadium. The stadium is particularly special, as it will be hosting the very first event of the Olympic games.
Although E.M Forster’s novel ‘A Room with a View’ is essentially a comment on the repressed culture of Edwardian England, the sentiment of wanting to have a pleasant aspect outside the window still holds true. Any property with an outstanding view and especially those overlooking water command a premium price.
The Household Division of Adrian Flux Insurance Services arranges specialist home insurance for properties throughout the UK both for private householders and landlords. Flux is used to sorting cover for homes that may be just a little bit different from the run of the mill and has got to know where their clients go to find a home with a spectacular view .
- Waterside apartments in marinas offer relaxing retreats for those of the boating fraternity or for ‘would be boaters’ – those who just like to lounge around soaking up the atmosphere. Specialist agencies such as Waterside Properties have a great selection of homes from flats to waterside chalets with integral boathouses.
- A panoramic cityscape takes a lot of beating and night-time views can be breathtaking. For those wanting to live the high life Our Property offers advice on buying a penthouse. Dockland property such as that at Canary Wharf not only has the combined advantage of water and city views but it is right there in the centre of the action for the 2012 Olympics. Excel Docklands handles property in Canary Wharf, Poplar, E14, Isle of Dogs, Millwall, West Ferry, Wapping and Bow, Royal Albert Docks and Wapping.
- As a complete contrast, property in the Scottish Highlands is for those who like the outdoor, rural life – hiking, shooting, fishing, mountain biking or even gentler activities like painting and drawing. Local agencies such as Scottish Highland Properties based in Inverness, Nairn and Dingwall can offer first hand advice and knowledge to would be purchasers including a full rental management service.
- If you’re wondering how prices compare around the country, nationwide property sites like WelcomeHome are a first stop to browse and make comparisons.