December is here and for many people that means the festive season begins and those Christmas decorations go up in the workplace as well as at home.  We don’t want to put a damper on things but it’s important to take into account fire safety when decorating your office or other workplace. This is because all the decorations, ornaments and Christmas tree lights mean that fire hazards are much more likely to occur.

On the bright side though, making your building and workspace safer for everyone will prevent fires from occurring. The team at Hartson Fire have come up with these tips for keeping your business fire safe this Christmas (and please note that these tips can equally apply to fire safety in the home too)!

Water Your Christmas Tree

A Christmas tree can set alight very quickly, particularly if hasn’t been watered and so has gone dry. If a festive tree does go up in flames, it can destroy furniture, walls and carpets in a very short space of time.

The best way to avoid this is by making sure you water the office tree every day. Keeping it watered means that the flames won’t catch as fast, giving you more time to put out the fire, or evacuate everyone out of the building. You should also be mindful of any candles, naked flames or electric output close to the tree and relocate these if possible.

Avoid Decorations around Lights

When putting up decorations at work, it can be tempting to go all out and decorate anything and everything in sight. Along with the tree, our engineers have seen workspaces fairy lights and tinsel on people’s desks, as well as decorations suspended from overhanging lights in the office or around lamps.

While this might look very festive, Christmas decorations are usually very flammable, because they are made from different types of plastic, or card and paper. When overhanging lights heat up,  this heat can cause decorations to set alight, which is why it is best to avoid decorating these areas.

Ensure Fire Safety Equipment is in Place

Taking the steps to prevent fires from happening is an important step when making the workplace fire safe this Christmas.  But should a fire occur, you need to have the safety equipment (and corresponding signage) in place to enable you to put out a fire quickly and safely.

No doubt, the appropriate equipment, including fire extinguishers and fire blanket, are in place in your workspace.  However, it’s important to carry out checks at this time of year to ensure all the equipment is in full working order, are labelled correctly and has been regularly serviced by a certified engineer.

To extinguish a potential Christmas tree fire, you should have in place a Class C fire extinguisher and you should never attempt to put out an electrical fire like this with any other type of extinguisher.

Additional Fire Safety Tips for the Workplace

Some additional tips to keep you, your staff and visitors to your workplace fire safe include:

  • Testing all fire alarms regularly
  • Turning all lights and other electrical ornaments off before you leave
  • Ensure all candles are fully extinguished
  • Carry out a fire drill to ensure everyone is aware of what should happen in case of a fire
  • Ensure all walkways, corridors etc are kept clear
  • Carry out a fire risk assessment before you put those decs up!

Hartson Fire

We trust you found these tips helpful when it comes to keeping your people and premises fire safe this Christmas.  And as mentioned, you can apply these tips to the home too!

If you’re unsure if you have in place the correct equipment and that your fire extinguishers have been tested and serviced, then contact Hartson Fire on the number below – and we’d like to take this opportunity to wish all our customers, suppliers and friends a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.