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14 simple steps towards a safe home this Christmas

It's important to ensure your home is safe this Christmas. Read our guide so you don't miss a thing

Image Credit: WikiCommons
Checking things like the smoke alarm and your window locks are often overlooked

While your spruce conifer may look lovely with all its shiny baubles and twinkling lights do you know just how much of a potential safety risk it can be? And what about last year's Christmas lights, are you sure they work? And have you checked your smoke alarm?

We’re not trying to suck the fun out of Christmas, but there are few things you can do to ensure that your home is safe this festive season.

Here are our festive dos and don’ts.

1. Check your smoke alarm

Smoke alarm

Don't assume your fire alarm is working.

Do call your landlord or maintenance company if you’re not sure how to check it.


2. Check your locks

Don't leave back doors or windows unlocked. Christmas is prime opportunity for thieves.

Do ensure you have locked everything up before bed or if you go out.


3. Where is the tree going?

Christmas tree

Don't put your tree too close to an AC vent or open flames, such as candles.

Do put it in a corner or against a wall where it won’t become an obstacle.


4. Tree base

Don't use a sub-standard base for the tree. It could fall over if the stand or pot is not big enough.

Do check when buying the tree that the base or pot is suitable.


5. Buying the lights

Internal lights

Don't buy Christmas tree lights from unknown brands. Poor-quality lights have been responsible for many house fires over the years.

Do check online for advice on good brands before you buy.


6. Last years’ lights

Don't assume they’re ok without checking them.

Do check for damaged cable or exposed wires, particularly near the plug end.


7. Turning the lights off

Don't leave your tree lights on when you go out or go to bed.

Do check that they work and that they aren’t damaged before you wrap around the tree.


8. Putting the lights up

Ladder

Don't put lights up alone. If you’re decorating the outside of your house and the job requires the use of a ladder, ensure you have someone footing it for you. Never try to do it alone.

Do ask for help. If you have to go up a ladder, make sure you have someone with you.


9. Extra cables

Don't go mad with extension cables. Never use more than one extension cable for a single purpose.

Do put the lights within 1-2 metres of a plug socket, but not so close that it’s touching it.


10. External lights

External lights

Don't use indoor lights outdoors. While rain is rare in the UAE, moisture in the air is more common than you may think. If you’re putting lights outside your house, ensure they are for external use.

Do buy external lights from a reputable brand.


11. Trailing cables

Don't leave trailing cables lying around. If you have small children, cables left running around the floor can be extremely dangerous.

Do ensure plug sockets are close to hand and use duct tape or conduit to secure the cables.


12. Candles

Candles

Don't overdo the candles. They look jolly lovely, but use them sparingly. Ensure not to leave them near flammable items like pot plants or wall-hangings.

Do be sure you blow them out before bed or if you go out.


13. Burning the turkey

Don't leave the kitchen unsupervised.

Do make sure you do a double check of everything when dinner is done, making sure the oven and hob is turned off.


14. Keep children supervised

Don't let children run around the house near to the Christmas tree or in the kitchen

Do explain to them the potential dangers of Christmas decorations.


Martin Fullard is a former web-editor for Sports and Guides on Gulf News and now works in the U.K.

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