Allianz Northern Ireland

Protecting Your Home During Christmas

5 min read

December 19th, 2017

The Christmas season is upon us. For many of us our homes will be transformed into Winter Wonder Lands, while all these decorations look amazing they can be potentially dangerous. Our Head of Risk Survey, James Gleeson, sets out some simple practical tips and advice to ensure your home is safe and sound this festive season.

Many of our heart-warming Christmas traditions can pose risks of fire, electrocution or other injury if used improperly or carelessly. Observing the rules of common sense when using these items won’t dampen the holiday spirit, if anything, it will ensure that the magic remains from start to finish.

The Christmas tree is the centre piece for many of our homes at Christmas whether real or fake there are precautions you should take to ensure your tree doesn’t spoil Christmas. Which do you prefer real or fake?

The Real Deal

Selecting the right tree is the first step in ensuring a Christmas without incident. The perfect tree:

Once you have selected and bought your tree, make sure you store it outdoors until you are ready to use it. Once you bring it indoors you should:

Plastic fantastic

Many of us will go the fake route with our Christmas tree. If you have been using a tree for many years it is worth a check to make sure it is up to date in terms of fire safety. Your tree must be labelled as fire-resistant, make-sure when buying a new tree that it is indeed fire-resistant. This label doesn’t mean the tree won’t burn; it simply means it won’t burn as easily.

Decorating your tree

Decorating the tree is a wonderful family task, if the tantrums and argument can be avoided. The following steps will help keep your tree and decorations safe from harm:

Indoor & outdoor lights

We all love Christmas lights; they bring the season to life adding so much festivity to our homes. Of course proper care is needed to make sure they are safe.

Indoor lights:

Important: Use only indoor light strings for inside decorating and outdoor lights for outdoor decorating.

Outdoor lights:

Important: Tree lights and other electrical decorations should always be unplugged when leaving the house or going to bed. The lights could short out and start a fire. Outlets should be readily accessible for quick disconnection if necessary.

Caution with Candles

The use of candles in the home has greatly increased in recent years, not just at Christmas time but year round. Fires caused by candles are most common in December. The majority of these fires occur after candles are left unattended, abandoned or inadequately controlled. A great number result when combustible material comes too close to the flame. The problem with candles is that most people don’t realise how quickly something can go wrong, or they don’t know the precautions they should take for safe candle use. This risk rises at Christmas with the US National Fire Protection Association highlighting that candles are responsible for 11% of fires in December compared to 4% during the rest of the year.

The safety tips:

Finally, keep a fire extinguisher handy in the home and make sure you have at least 2 smoke detectors installed in your home (and be sure to check they work, ideally twice a month).

Wishing you and yours a safe and wonderful Christmas.

Disclaimer: Allianz accepts no responsibility or liability for any losses that may arise from any reliance upon the information contained in this guidance