Christmas also sees a dramatic rise in the numbers of fires and accidents in the home. According to The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, (ROSPA), around 80,000 people suffer accidents and injuries in their homes during the Christmas holidays every year. Many of those happen in the kitchen during food preparation, while putting up decorations – or worse, as a result of faulty fairy lights or unattended candles. As well as taking necessary safety precautions, remember that when your home is filled with party guests and overexcited children, accidents can happen. Make sure that your home contents insurance provides you with comprehensive cover for common breakages as well as fire and accidents.
Your checklist for a pain-free Christmas
- Mind the steps: Falling off a stepladder while putting up Christmas decorations is one of the most common accidents. Many people end up in A&E after using a faulty stepladder or reaching too far with the tinsel. Check your steps aren’t faulty, ensure they’re on an even surface and get someone to hold them steady.
- Tree daze: The joys of decorating the tree can also end in tears. More than 1,000 people injure themselves each year by falling off a chair while putting the fairy on top of their tree or by cutting themselves when sawing off branches.
- Fairy safe: It is essential to check your fairy lights, particularly if you’ve had them a few years, for loose, frayed or bare wires, broken bulbs and cracked plugs. Faulty tree lights result in about 350 people needing hospital treatment for burns and electric shocks each year, including children who swallow or cut themselves on broken bulbs. If you’re in any doubt about the safety of your lights, treat yourself to some new ones.
- Candle watch: Injuries and fatalities in fires caused by candles are on the rise. Never be tempted to light candles on Christmas trees, put them on top of TV sets or other electrical appliances, or leave burning candles unattended, and always ensure you put them out before you go to bed.
- Full fat: Grappling with the bird and roasting potatoes slathered in goose fat requires your full attention. Cooking Christmas lunch for your clan can be stressful enough without anyone suffering cuts and burns. Hot fat, boiling water, sharp knives and cluttered work surfaces can spell disaster, so keep guests – especially children – out of the kitchen to give you the space and concentration you need.
- Pudding alert: One in 10 Britons manage to burn themselves while attempting to flambé their Christmas puddings.
- And finally… To make sure you and your guests don’t come a cropper, clear away wrapping paper, boxes and any other clutter begging to be tripped over.
Lets be safe out there this Christmas and ensure we reach 2014 unscathed.