Safety at Christmas

ChristmasWorldDecember 5, 2012

Fires, shocks, cuts, and falls- that's not how you want to spend your Christmas! This year, hang your lights and trim your tree without the trip to the emergency room. Follow these simple safety tips and have a happy, hospital-free Christmas.

Christmas lights that are improperly hung or connected carry high risk of causing electrical shock or electrical fires

How to Avoid:
- Do not use damaged or broken power points, plugs, switches, or leads.
- Do not overload a single switchboard. Do not piggy-back double adaptors.
- Use a proper transformer: IP 20, IP44, or IP64. These generate low heat output and help keep you from getting shocked by cutting down the amount of power flooding your lights.
- Keep all electrical connections away from areas where they could get wet. If outside, enclose the connection in a DriBox, Lead Cable Safety Box, or other water-tight capsule. Go on to view Christmas World's selection of DriBoxes and other light accessories.
- Do not hide or cover transformers with presents or decorations. This is a common cause of fires each year.
- Do not mix lights with metallic foil tinsel (some older tinsels are still made of this). The metal in the foil can conduct electricity and shock you or set your tree on fire. Use PVC tinsel instead. Go on check out Christmas World's vast selection of colourful PVC-based tinsel.

Using unsteady or improperly set-up ladders to hang Christmas decorations can cause falls, resulting in injury.

How to Avoid:
- Make sure the ladder is propped up against a sturdy, flat surface. If it�s an A-frame stepladder, make sure the brace is firmly locked.
- Follow the 1:4 rule. Prop the base of the ladder 1 foot away from the wall for every 4 feet of height up to the point where it connects at the top.
- Secure tall ladders to something sturdy with lashes or cables to prevent movement.
- When climbing onto a platform, make sure the top of the ladder extends three feet above the surface you're climbing onto.
- Always face towards the ladder when ascending or descending
- A fibreglass ladder is best for working with electrical products (like Christmas lights), because it will not conduct electricity.
- Have a partner present to spot you or hold the ladder. This is the best way to ensure ladder safety.

Christmas Trees
Christmas tree fires can engulf a room in minutes. Dry trees or non-fire resistant artificial trees carry the biggest risk.

How to Avoid:
- Make sure your artificial trees are labelled "fire-resistant"
- If buying a fresh tree, make sure it really is fresh. The needles should be green and shouldn't break when you bend them with your fingers. Go on to to check out Christmas World's fresh cut USA-style trees, available at our Moore Park and Terrey Hills stores.
- Keep your fresh tree's stand full of water. This will prevent it from drying out and make it last longer.
- Whether artificial or fresh, never place a Christmas tree near a radiator or fireplace.

Unattended candles cause hundreds of fires each year.

How to Avoid:
- Keep burning candles in sight.
- Always extinguish candles in an empty room or before going to sleep.
- If you don't trust yourself to remember to blow out the candles, consider using battery operated ones instead. A little less ambiance is worth a lot more safety.

Some common Christmas plants-holly and mistletoe- are actually poisonous if ingested, especially by pets or small children.

How to Avoid:
- Holly and mistletoe should not be ingested under any circumstances. Buy artificial instead of fresh, especially if you have pets or small children. Go on to view Christmas World's selection of artificial Christmas plants and picks.
- If you have to have real mistletoe, hang it in a piece of netting to keep the leaves and berries from falling to the ground where your toddler or labrador can eat them.

Incidents of drunk driving climb during the holiday season. Overindulgence at holiday parties is a major cause of this.

How to Avoid:
- Choose a designated driver beforehand
- Keep an eye on your friends at parties, especially if you're the host. Don't be afraid to take someone's keys, if necessary.
- Use public transport.

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    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 11:46PM
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Excellent tips and advice!
Thank you.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 12:53AM
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Better than using a ladder is a scaffold--much more secure and safe. Easy to store, because they come apart, and take up almost no room in the garage. And they're not that expensive, you can get them for under $200 at most home centers--I picked one up for DH for only $140 at Tractor Supply.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 11:28AM
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Thanks for the tips and reminders.

I did suffer a fall decorating my tree a few years ago...ended up with a concussion.


    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 10:23AM
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Really some great advice.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 2:27AM
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