Five Christmas hazards around the home

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Christmas hazards in the homeIt’s that time of year again: when we get out the tinsel and baubles, fire up the fairy lights, and bring a tree into the house.

Christmas is certainly an enjoyable time of year, and we waste no time in making sure our houses are full of that Christmas feeling, both inside and out.

But amongst all the festive cheer and family gatherings, it can be easy to forget about the potential dangers that Christmas can bring in to your home.

Here are five Christmas hazards to watch out for:

Overused power sockets

Fairy lights for the Christmas tree, indoor lights to go up the banister, not to mention all the outdoor lighting we like to use – we go electricity mad at Christmas. And we like our lights in certain places, so tend to overuse the power sockets that are most convenient.

But this can lead to overheating of sockets, which could cause sparks to fly and a fire to start, or give you a nasty electric shock. If you plan on going lighting-crazy this Christmas, invest in some extension leads to spread your use evenly across all your power sockets.

Putting up Christmas decorations

Sticking with Christmas lights and decorations, remember to take care when decorating the inside and outside of your house. Hanging decorations often look good in high-up places, such as over the stairs. But if you are not used to using a ladder in awkward places like this then it is easy to lose your balance and fall.

Outdoor lighting is even more hazardous, as people run up ladders to the top of their house without thinking twice. Again, if you are inexperienced at doing this sort of thing you’ll be in danger of falling, especially if it is icy on the ground.

Unstable Christmas tree

Plastic Christmas trees have grown in popularity over the years – you can even get upside-down ones now! But many people still like to stick with the traditional real evergreen, with many of us thinking the bigger the better.

But don’t forget that these trees were once supported by a network of roots underground, and are not stable without them. Rather than just putting your tree in a plant pot with some water, invest in a proper Christmas tree holder. These are sturdy stands that will stop tree from falling on all your presents, or worse, a young child.

Increased fire risk

It’s the same in households up and down the country: Christmas morning means wrapping paper everywhere, especially if you have young children in the house. Most of us leave it until Boxing Day, or even the day after! No one wants to tidy up at Christmas.

But all that paper and cardboard makes your house a fire’s dream. A fire can start in a hundred different ways, so make sure you don’t help it along by leaving paper everywhere.

Over-excitement

This may seem like advice just for children, but it applies to adults too. We are all guilty of getting a bit too excited at Christmas (often helped by alcohol), but don’t let go of your common sense.

Things you would never normally do, like assemble a child’s toy with a knife rather than a screwdriver, or run through the house without looking, you will find yourself doing without even thinking.

Injuries increase at Christmas, so while you’re watching the children, watch yourself too!

Policy Expert

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The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Policy Expert.