Top Safety Tips For a Safe Christmas
With the festive season just around the corner, most Australians turn their minds to decorations and Christmas parties. For many of us, that means doubling our power bills hanging lights in every corner, inside and out, and hosting pool parties and family BBQ’s. Here are our top tips for a safe Christmas.
When it comes to Christmas lights, here are the basics!
- Untangle lights while they are unplugged and you are on the ground.
- Check the cables are free from crimps, and that no bare wires are showing before switching the power on.
- Never hang lights with tacks or nails, use insulated hangers.
- Don’t overload or double up your power-bars or wall sockets.
- Don’t leave your lights on while you sleep or when you are out.
- Switch any roof or tree lights off during storms.
For more basic safety tips on checking your Christmas lights are safe, read our blog here: Use Safe Christmas Lights
Firstly here are a few words on ladder safety. Hanging Christmas lights around your roof, gutters or portico have become very fashionable in recent years but with that comes some safety concerns especially as most of us don’t use ladders regularly.
- Your ladder should meet Australian safety standards and be the right one for the job. NEVER balance a ladder of a table or raised surface to make it reach.
- If your ladder only comes out a couple of times a year, give it a good check over for rust and lose rungs.
- Only use a ladder if you are physically capable of doing so.
- Always set up the ladder on a flat, stable surface. Consider using ladder safety devices like leg levellers, anti-slip gutter guards, and stabilisers.
- Always maintain three-point of contact with the ladder. This means two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand on the ladder at all times.
- However tempting, never lean or reach away from the ladder while using it.
- Do not climb or work past the second-last rung of a ladder, and never straddle the top of an A-frame ladder.
- When climbing down, remain facing the ladder and climb to the bottom rung before stepping off.
When it comes to Christmas lights in a pool area there is only one piece of advice to offer. DON’T DO IT! Putting lights around or over the top of a pool area might look great but is so fraught with dangers that it really isn’t worth it. Our best suggestion is to keep all lights outside of your pool fences and never wind strings of lights around your pool fences.
Around the BBQ
Your outdoor entertaining area is a great place to show off your decorating skills. Even if your alfresco is covered, all-weather lights are the way to go! Make sure that any extra power bars and extension leads are kept off the floor away from spills and drips.
Keep low handing string lights, especially Japanese lantern strings away from the BBQ. If you are lacking illumination over your grill we recommend professionally installed task lighting.
Trees and Decorations
If you bring out the same old artificial tree and decorations our every year, it’s worth checking that they meet fire safety standards. If you are purchasing a new tree or decorations like tinsel, check with your retailer that they are made from flame retardant or non-flammable materials, many cheap imports don’t meet Australian safety standards.
Real trees have their own issues if your tree sits in a holder with a water reservoir ensure you keep all lights clear of the water. Always unplug your lights before watering your tree.
Finally, a quick word about the small and fluffy members of your family:
Small children are understandably fascinated by Christmas decorations. If you have any decorations with small parts which pose a choking hazard or breakable glass baubles keep them out of reach and never leave small children unattended with a Christmas tree at any time.
Cats LOVE Christmas lights and decorations but this can cause a safety issue if they decide to climb and subsequently pull the tree over.
Keep chocolate decorations and gifts out of reach of dogs! Chocolate is toxic to dogs and you don’t want to spend Christmas day at the vets! If possible consider keeping your pets away from your tree while you are out.
Wishing you a happy and safe festive season! From the Elliotts Team!