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.