By Colleen Moulding
As we all know many accidents happen in the home all year round,
but at this time of year when there are often more people than usual in the
house and we are more likely to be distracted by a friend dropping in or a phone
call from a distant relative, it is more important than ever to take the extra
care to ensure a safe and happy Christmas for our families and friends.
These soon become a fire hazard once they are drying out. Keep
your tree in one of the specially designed containers that you can keep topped
up with water, and be sure to place it well away from your heat source and from
major traffic routes through your house. Cutting a couple of inches of the
bottom of the trunk just before you take it indoors will help it take up water
and stay fresh longer.
As pretty as they are, candles cause many house fires at this
time of year. Keep candles well away from fresh or artificial Christmas trees
and from hanging or draping decorations, curtains, table cloths, toys and most
importantly, children. Never light real candles on a Christmas tree.
Cigarettes frequently start house fires. If you or your guests
are going to be smoking make sure that there are plenty of deep and solid
ashtrays around. After a party or family gathering have a thorough search behind
furniture, down the sides and between the cushions of sofas and in waste baskets
for any carelessly discarded cigarette ends that could be smouldering there and
start a fire later Make sure that the contents of ashtrays are completely safe
before emptying. Do not allow your guests to smoke in bed.
Fragranced Oil Burners
Another item that has become very popular recently, but can be
dangerous if not used sensibly. Make sure that they are topped up with water,
not left unattended and in a place where they cannot be knocked over by children
or pets. They can also get very hot at the base, I know someone who left one on
top of their television and it melted the casing.
At this time of year especially it is very easy to overload your
electrical system. Try not to use extension leads and adaptor plugs, ideally
each appliance should be plugged into it's own socket. Check for frayed or
damaged wires on your seasonal electrical items. Outside lights look lovely but
can be a hazard to your visitors if they have not been installed correctly. Have
them checked by a qualified electrician if you are not 100% sure of their
Test all your smoke alarms before the holidays and buy in spare
batteries. It has been well documented that smoke alarms really do save lives so
if you know someone who doesn't have alarms in their home, especially housebound
or elderly relatives, wouldn't that be a fabulous gift from you to them,
especially if you could arrange for installation too.
Keep portable heaters at least three feet away from any
combustible items such as furniture, curtains etc. and well away from doorways
and traffic routes. Be aware that the casings of some of these heaters can get
hot to the touch and would burn a child or elderly person if they fell against
Be very careful about plants and berries that children may put
into their mouths, especially if they have fallen from the plant. Also be
vigilant about leaving alcohol where young children could copy adults and drink
it. Remember that perfumes and aftershaves are poisons too but could look very
appealing to children.
While the kitchen is at it's busiest pay extra attention to
safety issues. Do not wear loose clothing around the stove, especially loose or
wide sleeves. Use oven mitts to move hot food and keep work surfaces clear so
that you always have a space to put hot dishes down safely. Keep knives well
away from children and be especially careful that they cannot get to kettles and
kettle leads. Turn cooking pot handles away and try to use only the back burners
while there are children around.
Unfortunately it only takes a moment's carelessness to turn a
happy family gathering into a tragedy, but if we are all aware of the dangers we
should be able to have a very happy and a very safe Christmas too. Happy
Christmas to you all!
For lots of ideas for Christmas food, decorating, carols, games, printable wish
lists, table name cards and a Santa letter to print out for your children see
Christmas - All Wrapped Up! Colleen's new ebook available from her popular web
an online magazine, web directory and free monthly ezine for women everywhere.