Our top five tips to keep you safe this Christmas...

The holidays are very nearly here, the presents bought and wrapped, the food all ordered and the decorations waiting to be brought down from the loft!  But wait – there are more than a few hazards among your festive preparations.

Here are the top five safety tips to make sure you stay safe this Christmas:

Be careful with candles! New Picture

Nothing kindles the holiday spirit like candles, but they are open flames in your home.  In the UK during 2000 alone, there were over 2,000 house fires caused by careless use of candles. TEN people died and over 900 were injured due to these fires! Sales of candles have gone up and up since then, bringing sadness to several homes every Christmas. Candles mark special occasions and create a wonderful atmosphere, but they bring fire into your home – treat them carefully!

If you’re leaving the house or going to sleep, make sure you blow out all of your candles first!

New Picture (1)Protect your children and pets!

Holiday decorations can easily be mistaken for a shiny snack.  Keep bite-sized ornaments out of reach and remember that mistletoe, poinsettia and holly berries are all toxic. It is best to avoid these if you have young children or pets in the house, especially if they are visiting with their parents or owners who don’t know what dangers you have lurking in your home!

Be safe with holiday lights and trees!New Picture (2)

About 1,300 people are sent to A&E every year due to holiday light accidents. Before you plug yours in, check for frayed wires, damaged sockets and gaps in the insulation. Replace any faulty bulbs, check the fuse is correct and do not overload any sockets or extension leads. If you find a problem with your lights then get rid of them! If you are having a real tree, pay more attention to it, as it dries out it will catch fire very easily – when the needles are dropping it is time to get it out of the house!

New Picture (3)Prepare for grease fires!

Don’t let these be the pictures of your 2013 family Christmas!

Your kitchen will probably see a lot of action this holiday season, and grease can ignite without warning.  Try to give your kitchen and particularly the cooker a spring clean before the season’s cooking starts to remove the grease. Keep a fire extinguisher or fire blanket handy and if you wind up in a pinch, remember that flour and baking soda also smother grease flames – NEVER use water! If you do have a fire, get out, stay out and call 999.

Climb ladders responsibly!New Picture (4)

In 2001, more than 48,000 people visited the A&E room because of a ladder accident at home. Decorations often call for a climb, so be safe by always keeping three points of contact with the ladder at all times.

Finally – enjoy yourselves!

Wishing you all a very safe and happy Christmas.