Ways to keep your home safe at Christmas
Securing your home during the holidays will protect it from seasonal hazards and reduce the risk of a break-in.
Following our top tips and preventive measures, will help you relax this Christmas knowing that you've made health and safety a top priority for you and your family.
Christmas tree fire safety
Christmas trees can look magical; however, they can create additional fire safety risks in the home. But don't worry; following the tips below will help avoid catastrophes.
- Location, Location, Location: Whether fake or real, you must keep your tree at least one metre away from fireplaces, candles, heating vents, and lights.
- Make sure you water fresh Christmas trees regularly. A dried-out tree can catch fire easily.
- If you buy an artificial tree, make sure it is fire-resistant but worth remembering that a real tree is a more sustainable option if you don’t already have an artificial tree.
- Check the Christmas tree lights, and if there are any frayed wires, do not use them. Damaged lights can catch fire.
- Switch to LED Christmas lights. LEDs are more efficient than conventional incandescent lights and emit very little heat. Therefore, they cost less to run and are less likely to overheat.
- Choose flame-resistant or flame-retardant decorations.
- Test your smoke alarm to make sure it's working correctly.
Christmas cooking fire safety
Cooking accidents are one of the most common reasons behind house fires. Here are some tips to prevent fires in your kitchen this Christmas.
- Start with a clean cooker and oven by removing food and grease buildup - grease is highly flammable.
- Stay in the kitchen when cooking, and never leave cooking food unattended.
- Keep a flame-resistant oven mitt, potholder or lid nearby to smother any flames.
- If you notice a fire in the oven, turn off the heat and keep the oven door closed.
Candles and open fire care
Candles and chimney fires can make a cold winter night cosier and are part of many Christmas customs and traditions. To prevent them from becoming a fire hazard, make sure you follow these tips:
- Use sturdy holders to prevent candles from toppling over.
- Keep lit candles on sturdy surfaces - no wobbly tables.
- Don't leave a burning candle unattended.
- Leave lots of space around the flame. Doing so reduces the chances of flammable material blowing into the flame.
- Follow the manufacturer's guidelines regarding burn time. The general recommendation is to burn candles for at most four hours and cool them for at least two hours before relighting them.
- If the candle flame becomes too high or repeatedly flickers, extinguish it. Let the candle cool, and then trim the wick before relighting.
- Get your chimney swept every year.
- Be careful with what you burn.
- Keep fuel and anything combustible away from fire.
Christmas home security checks
Christmas is often a time for catching up with friends, visiting family, and jetting off on holiday. An empty home can be a target for burglary. Follow these steps to secure your home and reduce the risk of a break-in.
- Using strong padlocks, secure any sheds, garages and gates.
- Install burglar-deterrents such as motion-triggered external lighting, CCTV cameras and home security alarms.
- Make it look like someone is home by using timers on interior lights set to go off at different times.
- Keep all valuables out of sight, and don't leave presents under the Christmas tree.
- Keep your travel plans off social media. It's a good idea to refrain from broadcasting to the world that you're travelling and won't be home for the holidays.
- Ask a trusted neighbour if they can check on your home and take your post and any deliveries inside your home. You could even ask them to park a car in your driveway to make it look like someone is home.
Added peace of mind
Insure against the worst by taking out home and contents insurance with increased Christmas time cover. Here at Allianz, we automatically increase your contents sum insured by 10% in December and January. to see what's available at Allianz and to get an online quote in minutes.
As you can see, taking these few small steps will help ensure that you and your family can enjoy your time together safely during Christmas, whether you are home for the holidays or enjoying a festive getaway.
Merry Christmas from everyone here at Allianz. We look forward to helping you keep your home safe and comfortable into the New Year!
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Information correct as of date of publishing. This blog will not be updated or edited so the information may become outdated.