Christmas is a special time for many of us and there’s bound to be lots of festive preparations underway within our homes to ensure everyone has a good time.
However, as many of us enjoy the holidays, it’s important to remember that this is also a time when the risk of accidents and fires in the home increases – and they can have devastating consequences.
Here our Welfare Services Lead, Carrie Pearce, shares some top tips for keeping safe at home this Christmas and reducing the risk of accidents:
- In the run up to the festive season, make sure you test your smoke alarms – replacing any faulty or old batteries. If your smoke alarm is over 10 years old, you may want to consider replacing it.
- Remember to water your tree daily – a dried out tree can burst into flames in seconds, spreading quickly.
- More candles are used at Christmas than any other time of year. Remember to keep these out of the reach of children and animals. Never place them near the Christmas tree or decorations. Do not leave them unattended and remember to always blow them out.
- Do not use Christmas lights or other electrical items that are worn or damaged as these can overheat, wires can melt and they can easily cause a fire.
- Remember not to overload your electrical sockets and to always unplug your lights and other electrical items at the wall. It’s not enough just to switch them off.
- Keep your floorspace free to avoid any trips and fall hazards.
- When using electronic devices, make sure you use the correct adapters and chargers – cheap imitations can overheat and cause a fire.
- At the end of the day and before going to bed, turn off any heaters and put up any fire guards.
- Never use an electric blanket and a hot water bottle at the same time, even if your blanket is switched off.
- If you have a mobile phone, keep this with you and make sure if is charged so that you can call for help if you need it.
If you would like to know more information about reducing the risk of an accident or fire in the home, there are lots or organisations that can help:
- gov.uk: help with a home fire safety visit and smoke alarm installation
- electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk – advice about electrical safety appliance advice
- hse.gov.uk/gas/domestic – gas safety advice line
- nacs.org.uk – National Association of Chimney Sweeps
How can we help?
We can always support with advice and information. Our Welfare Caseworkers can signpost and refer to organisations who can advise on safety in the home.
To find out more, give us a call on 0800 389 8820 or register for our new app, MyFFC, and visit the ‘Access Support’ tab. Please take note of our opening hours over the Christmas period, however, which you can find here.
In the event of a fire emergency: remember, get out, stay, out and call 999…
Remember to stay calm, and don’t attempt to put the fire out – leave it to the fire service.