It’s not December yet but with the Late Late Toy Show on next Friday night, I’d imagine lots of families will be getting their tree and the decorations in place to have the house looking festive and adding to the Christmassy atmosphere. No one wants to end up in A & E or even experience any small accidents when decorating so here’s eight safety tips to ensure that while the house looks suitably festive, you’re all hale, hearty and feeling safe and cosy while watching the Toy Show:-
Don’t stand on coffee tables or chairs to reach the top of the tree or the ceiling. Even just writing that has made me remember the time my cousin fell off a chair when changing a lightbulb and ended up breaking his leg! It sounds dramatic but it does happen. Ensure the ladder is on even ground and that the safety catches are in place. If you’re putting decorations on the roof, on the gable end of the house or within a double height hallway, make sure someone is standing on the bottom rung of the ladder to stop it from tipping. Don’t be tempted to lean over too far to one side when you’re up that ladder either – it’s much safer to climb down, move the ladder and climb up again.
Candles add atmosphere to a room too via their flickering light and their scent but never leave them unattended. If there are young children around, ensure candles are out of reach. It may sound obvious but don’t place them near curtains, Christmas cards or decorations. It does happen that a candle placed on a mantelpiece can ignite the cards beside it as it burns down.
If your Christmas lights are starting to look like they have seen better days, in terms of the wiring starting to fray at all or a crack in the plug, it’s time to invest in new ones. Remember they are left on for hours and they are close to decorations and wrapped gifts which could ignite if there’s too much heat. Artificial trees should all be labelled “fire resistant” so check that’s on the box. Remember it doesn’t mean the tree won’t catch fire, it’s just more resistant.
4. Tree Placement
Place the tree in a part of the room where it won’t obstruct anything, there’s no danger of anyone falling over wires or over the lower branches, or of falling against it and knocking it over.
5. Young Children
The sparkle of decorations on a tree are enticing to young children so ensure that there aren’t any decorations on the lower branches that have sharp edges, parts that can be bitten off or that could shatter and cut their hands. Weight the tree down so it’s not easy to pull over should a toddler reach out to grab a branch. Much of the same advice applies to pets actually.
6. Wrapping Paper
Can wrapping paper carry a risk? Well, if the fire is lighting and a child throws the discarded wrapping paper into the fire without scrunching it up tightly first, the loose paper could fall out onto the hearth or even further, creating a serious fire risk.
7. Scissors & Knives
Between the sharp knife for carving the turkey, the scissors for opening well-cellotaped wrapping paper and boxes, or a knife instead of a screwdriver for assembling toys, you can see that lots of sharp implements in use while sipping on the wine, liquers or brandy may not be a good combination.
8. Food Poisoning
Check the cooking times for the weight of your turkey and remember to add more time if you’re stuffing the bird. If it was frozen, ensure you’re giving it enough time to defrost before Christmas morning. Prepare, plan, stay safe and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas. Will you be putting up your decorations before the Late Late Toy Show?