The festive season is a wonderful time, but it brings with it a host of potential hazards which can lead to instances of home fires. All too many people experience accidents caused by anything from ill-placed Christmas trees to sub-standard fairy lights, overloaded power boards to unattended candles. In addition to making sure you have a working smoke alarm installed and tested in your home, let’s take a look at how to keep you and your family safe this Christmas.
- Don’t overload power boards or electrical circuits.
- Don’t plug multiple double adaptors into one another.
- Opt for power boards with overload and earth leakage protection.
Light it up Safely
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding assembly, installation and globe replacement for decorative lights.
- Check stored decorative lights for faults including damaged or frayed wiring and leads or missing bulbs. Where you find any of these hazards, throw them away and purchase a new set.
- When buying lights make sure they meet Australian standards and show the Australian Standards label.
- Use the right lights for the right location, ie. Do not use outdoor lights inside the home.
- Do not cover or modify decorative lights.
- Turn off and unplug decorative lights when going to bed or when leaving the home as they can overheat when left on for extended periods of time.
Use Caution with Candles
- Place candles away from flammable items such as curtains, Christmas trees, decorations or wrapping paper.
- Keep candles out of reach from children.
- Blow candles out when not in their proximity – do not leave them burning and unattended.
Top Tree Tips
- If buying or using an artificial tree make sure it is certified as non-flammable or flame retardant.
- If buying or using a real tree, choose one which is fresh with green needles that do not fall off when touched. Be sure to water it daily and remove it promptly after Christmas.
- Keep the tree at a safe distance from any heat source such as vents, fire places or candles.
- Do not place the tree where it blocks an entrance or exit.
- Do not use damaged strings of lights or lit candles to decorate the tree.
- Turn off all lighting decorations when leaving the home or going to bed.