The end of 2016 is a special time of year with Christmas and New Year all give us long weekends. Gathering with family and friends is one of the most popular way of celebrate the season. We deserve to give ourselves some reward after 1 whole year of effort. Festive food, decorations, gift and parties brings joy and excitement to our home.
However, we need extra precautions during the festive seasons to avoid any unnecessary accidents. Holiday seasons are generally also the period injuries increase.
Things to Look Out For
Increased Fire Risk
The three most common times of year for house fires are Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s.
Candles with their unique glow and beautiful appearance, can really brighten up the home on a dark and gloomy winter’s day. Unfortunately, candles are not always treated with enough caution and are responsible for causing 50% more house fires during the Christmas holidays compared to any other time of the year. Although the fire safety rules regarding candles may seem painfully obvious, it is easy to forget them during the hustle and bustle of Christmas. A naked flame should never be left unattended, kept strictly out of the reach of children and positioned well away from any other materials such as seasonal decorations. Always remember to blow out all the candles before going to bed.
Scented candles are popular all year around, but especially so during the festive season when receiving guests. This is also the time of year when houses are most poorly ventilated due to the cold weather outside allowing in some cases, a build-up of toxins associated with scented candles and oils.
Many fires are caused by over-loading socket points, this is particularly common during the festive period when we use a range of extra appliances and fairy lights.
All decorative lights and any appliances should be switched off before going to bed and leaving the home. If you have older lights, it may be worth replacing them as newer lights will be made to higher safety standards.
Flammable Material in The House
Christmas decorations, bundles of wrapping paper etc. are highly flammable and in the case of an accident, be it from a candle or faulty fairy lights, can increase the risk of fire. The Christmas tree itself can also be highly flammable – if buying an artificial tree, be sure to check it is fire resistant. If buying a real one, make sure it doesn’t become too dried out, as an overly dry tree is more of a fire risk – and always remember to turn the fairy lights off when out of the room.
Sparklers and Fireworks
Any sparklers or fireworks should be used outside, strictly following the safety advice.
Surprisingly, the Christmas tree is responsible for many related accidents each year usually involving its decoration – this is especially true for the taller trees – always use a sturdy step ladder.
Wall hanging decorations and outdoor decorations cause a number of falls every season – once again, a step ladder should be used for the indoor decorations and a stable ladder where needed for outdoor decorations.
Falls on stairs are more common at this time of year due to crowding in the house, increased excitement, tiredness and the effects of alcohol make this a hotspot for accidents.
Windows and Balconies
Houses become very busy with additional bodies as well as the heat and smell from cooking can make the house feel stuffy. Families with young children need to pay extra attention when opening windows in both living and bedrooms to let in much needed fresh air. In a crowded house, our kids often disappear in the living room and go unnoticed in the bedroom or balcony. Window restrictors are an excellent solution for this problem, allowing ventilation in a secure manner.
This is one of the most hazardous rooms in the house, bubbling pans, hot fat and boiling water need strict control – this becomes more difficult when the household is exceptionally busy. Young children should be kept out of the kitchen, back hobs utilised as much as possible and appropriate clothing should be worn, nothing too loose which may accidentally catch fire. Any spills on the floor should be mopped up immediately to avoid slips, trips and falls.
Drinking but not too much
Although many of like to enjoy alcoholic drinks during the festive period, alcohol is one of the main factors that contribute to the increasing incidents. It slows down our reaction and reduces our awareness of risks and dangers. It can also make us to attempt things we usually wouldn’t do, such as opening and assembling presents using inappropriate tools, for example playing sharp objects.
The team at Huat Professional Engineering wishes you a safe holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.