It’s that time of year to think about holiday fire safety. Christmas is a season when things can become hectic in commercial and residential settings, and is therefore also a time of increased fire hazards.
Every year, Christmas trees and decorations cause fires that can potentially result in fatalities – candles have been known to cause about 1,000 fires in a single year. Knowing how to prevent fires during Christmas will help maintain a seamless operation throughout winter, ensuring the safety of all employees, guests, and site users.
With so much to keep in mind this holiday season, and complacency being one of the leading indirect causes of fire, M&G Fire Protection is offering the gift of Christmas fire safety guidance with these useful tips and advice.
Don’t be complacent when it comes to fire safety. You must:
- have a functional smoke alarm installed on all floors of your property.
- test your smoke alarm(s) once a week and make sure to replace the battery or the smoke alarm when necessary.
Don’t overload sockets
Overloading plugs is dangerous at any time of year, but during Christmas, there is often a lot more plugged in than there needs to be – don’t be tempted to overload your sockets! Here are some helpful hints for using them safely:
- Only use one socket extension lead per socket
- Never plug an extension lead into another extension lead
- Check the wattage of each individual appliance
- Use a multiway bar extension lead rather than a block adaptor
- Check sockets regularly for signs of overheating
Never use lights with worn or frayed cables
Before hanging your decorations, make sure the wiring and condition are in good working order. Damaged cables can produce electrical shorts and electric shocks, which can result in life-threatening burns. If your lights are damaged, dispose of them.
Pets with inquisitive teeth and claws can cause damage to Christmas lights (both indoors and outside). Not only may it cause electric shocks in animals, but it can also generate new problems over time, so make sure to check them periodically.
Never put decorations on lights or heaters
A surprising number of decorations are made from flammable materials – tissue paper, cardboard, card, and wood to name but a few. Keep them away from candles and never attach them to lights or heaters, and make sure that no decorations or greeting cards are positioned immediately over or around the fireplace as this could pose a substantial fire risk.
Taking Care of Your Tree
Trees are flammable. In a matter of moments, a single spark on a dry tree could set it ablaze. Do you have an open fire? To keep embers from escaping, use a fireguard. Make sure to leave sufficient space between everything and treat your tree as what it is around open flames: a fuel.
Avoid placing your tree near a heat source, such as a fireplace or a heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, making it more flammable to heat, flame, or sparks. Do not set up your live tree too early or for more than two weeks, and maintain a constant supply of water in the tree stand.
Fires can start easily. To reduce the risk of fire over the festive period, you should also:
- turn off lights at night or when you are leaving the house
- never leave burning candles unattended
- never leave a cooker unattended – most fires start in the kitchen
- keep candles, lighters and matches out of the reach of children
- keep heaters away from soft furnishings and decorations
Check your fire safety equipment
Making sure you’re prepared is the key to avoiding disaster. Businesses and residential buildings have a lot to cope with over the holidays, so having confidence in your fire safety equipment is essential.
Ensure that your fire alarms are inspected on a regular basis during the holiday season. Working fire alarms and fire extinguishers could be the difference between two very different results this holiday season, and it’s always better to be prepared.
If you have any questions about protecting your business this Christmas, contact us on email@example.com or 01376 519627.
From everyone at M&G Fire Protection, we’re very grateful for your continued support year after year. We hope you stay safe this holiday season and enjoy your festivities!