Christmas should be the most wonderful time in your year. This season should be a time for relaxing and enjoying special events with friends and family. Christmas is the time when we should be wishing and praying for good health and safety, and it is certainly not the time of the year when we want misfortune to happen.
Unfortunately, accidents can happen during Christmas, just like during any other time of the year, and the most common accidents in the home relate to Christmas trees. Decorations, including Christmas trees should bring joy and happiness to a home and the family that is in it, not injury or accidents – there are however, many things that you can do, to keep your family safe, and injuries and accidents minimised.
- Follow the instructions on your Christmas Lights. Many families enjoy decorating their tree with Christmas lights, however these can be a fire hazard if not used correctly. Each set of lights is different, so be certain to follow the instructions that are included in the box, to ensure that your tree and home are safe.
- Select top-quality Christmas Lights. Unfortunately, if you purchase very cheap Christmas lights, you might be increasing the chance of a fire or an electrical problem. This doesn’t mean that you need to pay a fortune for your lights, but ensure that you purchase a top-quality set, and that you make this purchase from a reputable and or specialised Christmas store, rather than a cheap bargain store.
- Choose food for your Christmas tree wisely. Many families like to add food to the Christmas tree. Festive food can be used to make the tree look pretty, but the edible decorations also provide yummy nibbles throughout the year. Children and adults can easily pick off a decoration and treat themselves to it, and these may include candies or baked treats. The most important safety considerations for decorating trees with foods is that they eaten before their expiry date and don’t require refrigeration. Also consider allergies, as you may have friends or families coming to visit, who could be allergic to the ingredients in your treats.
- Consider the size of your Christmas decorations. If you have young children in your house, or visiting you and your family over the festive season, you will want to ensure that all of the decorations are of an appropriate size. Young children and swallow and choke on young items. Any item that is smaller than the size of traditional film canasta, is too small for young children to play with or be around.
- Avoid decorations with sharp edges. Young children, and even adults can be injured by the sharp edges on some items. You might not even realise that some decorations are sharp, so look carefully. Pay special attention to metal edges that aren’t sealed correctly.
- Stabilise your tree. A good Christmas tree needs a good base. This is one that is sturdy, and that will prevent the tree toppling over. You might need an extra-large and heavy pot at the bottom, for a living Christmas tree, or a good quality plastic Christmas tree that is designed to be safe and strong.
- Turn off your electrics at night, and when the house is unattended. Electric items may include Christmas lights, but also heaters, televisions and stereo equipment. Electric equipment can catch fire, and if a Christmas tree is nearby it, then it provides the perfect fuel for an even bigger blaze.
- Place your Christmas tree and decorations well away from an open fire place. If you are lucky enough to have an open fire place, then sparks and flames can escape from the fire place and set your home alight. Christmas trees and other nearby decorations can easily catch ablaze, so move them well away to safety.
- Use a sturdy step ladder to decorate the high points of your Christmas tree. Avoid standing on chairs or benches as they can topple over, causing injury, and even bring the entire tree down on top of you.
- Keep children calm while they help you decorate the tree. Christmas tree decorations are often scattered over the floor, causing a temporary mess in your living area. You will have strings of lights and baubles rolling everywhere, so everyone, including children will need to move carefully and calmly, to avoid accidents and injuries.