With many us showcasing our wonderful Christmas Tree and other festive decorations all over social media, it’s time to start thinking fire safety for your home.  After all, you don’t want to put your family or property in danger and spoil the Christmas holidays through a lack of attention to the dangers that the festive season brings.

From Christmas trees and fairy lights to dangling garlands and holiday candles, seasonal décor can sometimes be dangerous if not treated with care.  It’s particularly important to ensure any of these items are not placed in particularly hazardous areas such as over or next to an open fire for example.

To help you to sit back and relax this Christmas, knowing that you and your family are safe, follow these simple safety tips, a gift to you from Hartson Fire.

Christmas trees and lights

Over Christmas, it’s important not to overload electrical circuits to accommodate holiday lighting and decorations, increasing the potential for electrical fires as well as electricity outages. In fact, 25% Christmas tree fires tend to be caused by electrical issues. 

You should always inspect your fairy lights before plugging them in and that included checking that the cord isn’t damaged.

Never overload an electrical circuit with multiple plugs, it’s far better to spread them over multiple sockets to avoid any issues, including electricity cuts.  You should also avoid adding extension leads to sockets that are powering major appliances as this too can cause electricity overload.

Always turn off all lights and decorations before leaving the house or going to bed. This should also apply to outside lights; and if you don’t want to brave the cold every night, you can set up a timer to automatically turn on the lights at dusk and turn them off the next morning.  

If you have a real tree, you should always keep it well watered.  Just two or three days without water could be enough to dry out a Christmas tree. So, water it every day as once a tree is dry, it can catch fire easily.

Other Electrical Equipment

Ensure your home is fitted with adequate smoke detectors.  This doesn’t just apply to Christmas but all year round to keep your family and property safe at all times.

If you are using extra extension cords over the holiday season, make sure they are heavy-duty, quality products with the relevant BS standards and kite marks.  Never run extension cords under rugs or in areas where they pose a tripping hazard. Keep in mind that an extension cord is meant to be used as a temporary solution so if you’re using one on a regular basis, you’d be better off having new sockets installed.

Christmas Candles

Candles provide a fabulous. festive ambiance as well as rich and joyful fragrances. But they’re also a huge fire hazard, responsible for starting hundreds of home fires each year. This is especially true during the holiday season with the top three days candle fires are most likely to occur are Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve (days when alcohol consumption tends to increase!)

You may want to consider replacing traditional candles with flameless, battery-operated ones, but don't forget to turn these off when leaving the house as LED lights can get hot too.

It’s very important that you don’t leave a candle burning unattended. If you're going out, or even if you’re going to be out of the room for a while, blow out the candle rather than risk a potential fire.

Finally, you need to be very careful how and where you place your candles. Always use a sturdy candle holder to keep it from tipping over or touching flammable surfaces; and keep all candles at least 12 inches away from all flammable items.

Seasons Greetings from Hartson Fire

We hope you will all have a fun filled and, above all, a safe Christmas holiday from all of us at Hartson Fire.