Fire Hazards in the Home this ChristmasSaturday, December 08, 2012 Mary Anne Velasco
Christmas may be a time of festive cheer and family joy, but homeowners must remember that decorations in the home can pose an added fire risk that could put a dampener on the period.
Fairy lights, paper and cardboard decorations and Christmas trees are all potential fire hazards, so it is important to take some extra precautions at this time of year as well as ensuring you have home insurance [http://www.swiftcover.com/homeinsurance/] cover in place.
The Fire Service recommends checking the fuse is right on fairy lights and that if bulbs blow they are immediately replaced. They should also be turned off at night when everyone is in bed.
Decorations should be kept away from lights, heaters, candles and the fireplace to avoid them catching fire.
When it comes to trees, picking the right one is key to avoid ending up with an older, drier one that is a greater fire risk. Touch the trunk to make sure it's sticky and bounce it on the ground to see if a lot of needles fall off.
Trees should not be positioned close to a heat source, as doing so could lead to them drying out, meaning it will be more easily ignited by heat, flames or sparks.
When the time comes to dispose of the tree, residents must ensure they do not put any branches in their fireplace or in a wood burning stove. Instead, it should be taken to a recycling centre, where it will be discarded appropriately.
The Christmas period often sees more people using candles, but the Fire Service has warned homeowners of the dangers presented by the light sources.
The group has advised homeowners to place candles on a heat resistant surface and in a holder to ensure they do not fall over.
In addition, they should be positioned away from curtains or other fabrics, while they also must not be kept under shelves, as their heat could easily burn the surface.
To help ensure such damage does not occur, the Fire Service [http://www.fireservice.co.uk/] has advised people to guarantee there is at least three feet between a candle and the surface above.
Guest post by Baubridge Lyd