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12 Christmas Safety Tips

As much as we all love Christmas, It can be a really dangerous time of year. According to the NHS nearly 80,000 people need to go to A&E due to injuries such as falls, cuts and burns during the Christmas period. We spend more time in the kitchen, more time out in the cold and more time rushing around. That’s why it’s so important for us to be aware of hazards at Christmas time. Keep reading to see the potential hazards at Christmas time and how to prevent them.

1 – The Christmas tree

We Brits love Christmas trees, both real and artificial ones! But unfortunately they are big causes of house fires. So you need to make sure to tend and care for your tree properly. If your tree is real:

  • Pick a tree with a deep green colour.
  • Check the trunk is sticky, not dry.
  • Check the pine needles don’t fall off with just a touch.

For all types of trees make sure that:

  • The tree doesn’t obstruct any exits.
  • Make sure that there’s no naked flames near your tree.

For more tree safety tips, please see this blog.

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2 – Decorations

Getting your decorations up safely, and making sure that they’re secure is a must do. There’s some good precautions you can take to ensure that there’s no problems with your Christmas decorations this year.

  • Use a sturdy ladder when putting up decorations that are above your height, and wear good footwear whilst doing so.
  • Enlist a partner or friend to keep the ladder sturdy, and to help put up long decorations.
  • Be aware that paper, cardboard and tissue decorations could burn easily.
  • Don’t place them near heat sources or heat emitting lights.

3 – Spills and slips

Christmas really can get stressful. With so many people out and about, we feel the need to rush everywhere. So whether you’re at home, at the shops or at a party, the chance for spilt liquid is high.

Try and take it slow when walking around with liquids this Christmas time. If you’re carrying hot liquids, make sure they’ve either got a lid on or that you’re not surrounded by people. Although it’s a lot of fun getting merry, having to go to A&E might put a damper on things.

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4 – Alcohol safety

Getting merry is always a goal at Christmas time. However, seeing as a lot of us like to do this through alcohol, it’s best to keep an eye on your drinking. Follow some of these tips to keep on top of your alcohol consumption at Christmas.

  • Always have a good sized meal before you plan on drinking, don’t drink on an empty stomach.
  • Try and not drink more than 14 units a week.
  • Avoid binge drinking.
  • Allocate some ‘drink-free’ days prior to when you know you will be drinking.

5 – Christmas cooking safety

We spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking at Christmas, which means there are more chances for hazards to arise. Encourage guests to stay out of the kitchen, or at least away from the chef, when cooking is in full swing. That way there’s less distractions and less chance of harm.

Be aware of your surroundings when using the hob, ovens, hot water and knives. Make sure to keep alcohol to a minimum if you’re cooking, and have oven mitts to hand for when you’re moving hot plates. Read our Top 5 Most Common Accidents article for more on kitchen safety.

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6 – Sweets & treats (pets)

There’s plenty of sweets to go around at Xmas. Hard boiled sweets, chocolates, toffees, truffles, everyone’s got a favourite! Although they may be tasty to you, to your pets they could be poisonous. Make sure to get clued up on what ingredients can cause harm to your furry friends. Here are some of the well known poisonous ingredients to cats and dogs:

  • Onions and garlic (both raw and cooked)
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Grapes and raisins

7 – Christmas food safety

We eat a lot of food at Christmas. Turkey, roast potatoes, pork trimmings, pigs in blankets, cheese, mince pies. There’s lots of it, so you need to be aware of the dangers of food poisoning. One of the main food hazards is the turkey, so make sure to:

  • Defrost your turkey thoroughly.
  • Don’t wash the raw turkey.
  • Cook your turkey thoroughly.
  • Cool, refrigerate and re-heat your turkey safely.

For more information, see this blog. Image credit: vivienviv0

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Unfortunately COVID is a big danger in our life these days, and Christmas is no exception. Above all, be aware of your surroundings and who you’re mingling with. As well as thinking about these other COVID Christmas safety tips:

  • Have more hand sanitizer at touch points if you’re having guests round.
  • Don’t overcrowd your home so that guests can social distance freely.
  • Make wise choices as to when you go shopping, avoiding busy periods.
  • Remember your mask. Why not get a Christmas style mask to get you in the festive spirit?

9 – Winter weather

It gets icy this time of year. Rain, snow, hail are all forces of nature to be contended with. It gets even more dangerous outside, whether you’re in a car or on the street, so make sure to take these precautions to keep yourself safe.

  • Have an emergency first aid kit (including water and blankets) in your car.
  • Wrap up warm with insulated layers and wear appropriate shoes.
  • Stay hydrated and if you’re outside all day, take regular breaks.
  • Slow down when you’re driving.

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10 – Shopping safety

This may not be the first thing you think about at Christmas, but our shopping habits change a lot at this time of year. Whether it’s online or in-store, there’s a lot of places for harm when shopping.

If you’re shopping on the high-street, make sure:

  • You don’t buy more than you can carry. You could fall or strain something.
  • You don’t leave items visible in your car. Put them in the boot, or take them straight home.
  • You don’t get your wallet or purse out before being prompted.

If you’re shopping online, make sure:

  • You are wary of “bargains” that don’t seem too good to be true.
  • You update your security software and delete any unprompted requests for personal information.
  • You use secure websites for purchases, and save all receipts.

11 – Check your electricals

Lights are the main attraction at Christmas, lovely twinkly fairy lights are absolutely everywhere! But they can be a fire hazard risk, even if you’ve used them year after year and never had a problem. With your Christmas lights, please check these things whilst decorating:

  • Visually check your lights thoroughly for any breakages or bare wires.
  • Don’t leave them on overnight, they can overheat and cause a fire.
  • Don’t overload your sockets!

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12 – Choke hazards

Small toys and decorations are big potential problems for your toddlers (and pets) during the festive season. Make sure to keep decorations at least three feet above reaching height of your children, as well as double checking the age range for the toys you buy them. Although it’s difficult to be in two places at once, do your best to supervise them at Christmas, especially whilst they’re opening their presents or playing with their new toys.

To go that extra bit further, learn how to help people who are choking.

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