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Christmas Decorations and Safety

Christmas Decorations and Safety

Christmas Decorations and Safety

By Nicola Jewell on 02 December, 2015

We all love that moment in December when the evenings get dark and the Christmas lights go on, right?  Lights and decorations are beautiful, and people enjoy both setting them up and looking at them.  Some displays can be stunningly creative.

But did you know that Christmas decorations can be dangerous?  Over 80,000* people in the UK need hospital treatment for Christmas-related injuries each year. 

Here are some of the ways your decorations could harm you – and how to protect yourself

Fire Hazards

The risk of dying in a house fire goes up by 50% over the Christmas period. 

Candles provide atmosphere like nothing else, but put a burning candle on a Christmas tree, real or fake, and you are asking for trouble.   Candles or tealights on windowsills can set fire to curtains.  Other problems can be caused by faulty electrics on fairy lights, or hot bulbs.

Lessen your risk by:

  • Never putting naked flames near to flammable materials or wood. 
  • Always put out any candles or oil burners before leaving the room or house or going to bed. 
  • Make sure you check your fairy lights before installation. 
  • Consider buying new lights if yours are very old – new lights will have higher safety standards. 
  • Never overload your sockets.
  • And always, always turn off fairy lights before leaving the house or going to sleep.

Dangerous Decorations

Every year, nearly 2500 people are injured while decorating their homes and putting up their Christmas tree.  Injuries include falls while hanging decorations, cuts from broken glass baubles, slips when decorations and banners are left lying around, and incidents of children choking on decoration parts.

Prevent these injuries by:

  • Always using a properly-maintained stepladder to hang decorations.  Never use a chair or stool, or balance awkwardly.
  • Glass decorations should always kept away from children and pets. 
  • Clear up any broken glass immediately.
  • Decorations are often not designed or tested for children, so watch out for small parts or fragile construction on novelty items

 Poisonous Plants

 One of the great Christmas traditions is to bring greenery into your home.  But did you know that some of our most popular greenery is actually poisonous? 

 Mistletoe, however pretty and lovely to kiss under, has berries that are toxic and if ingested, can slow the heart rate and cause hallucinations.  The Christmas cherry can cause tummy upsets, and the Christmas rose is well-known for causing diarrhoea.  Holly berries are dangerous if eaten.

You can prevent these issues by doing the following two things:

  • Always wash your hands thoroughly after touching toxic greenery.
  • Make sure that plants are kept out of the reach of children.
  • Keep all plants and greenery away from pets

Stay safe this Christmas with JustAnswer - if you have further questions about Christmas safety, we have many Home Improvement Experts ready and happy to help with your specific situation.

*Figures from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents