November 24, 2014

Ho! Ho! Ho! Santa Claus has a message for you…

Santa has a safety message to make sure you, your co-workers and your family stay safe over the festive season…

Fairy Lights

  • Check the fuses – ensure they are the are the right  rating  (see the box for the maximum size of fuse you should use)
  • If bulbs blow, replace them
  • Don’t leave fairy lights on when you go out or when you go to bed / sleep
  • Don’t let the bulbs touch anything that can burn easily, like paper. decorations
  • Don’t overload socket outlets .with appliances
  • Don’t drape them around equipment  doorways (slips  trips) If you are going to put them up do it sensibly

Decorations

  • Some imported decorations made of light tissue paper or cardboard burn easily
  • Don’t attach them to lights or heaters.
  • Don’t put them immediately above or around the fireplace. where you may  put cards up
  • Keep them away from candles

Selecting a Tree for Christmas

  • Special fire safety precautions need to be taken when keeping a live tree in the house or office
  • A burning tree can rapidly fill a room with fire and deadly gases
  • If you are purchasing an imitation one, ensure it’s fire retardant.. Fresh natural  trees can also present a problem
  • Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and the needles should not break if the tree has been freshly cut
  • The trunk should be sticky to the touch
  • Old trees can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk on the ground
  • If many needles fall off, the tree has been cut too long, has probably dried out, and is a fire hazard

Caring for Your Tree

Natural trees need a lot of tender loving care over the Christmas period to keep them looking great and it is often forgotten that the tree needs to be watered on a regular basis. There are many concerns when doing this.such as electricity, bending (back problems) eye protection branches/ needles, extension leads .. so just take time and think. Also, when you need to water the tree, ensure that all electrical supplies are switched off and that fairy lights are not in the way of water filling container.

To help keep it from drying out…

  • Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent.  A dry tree can  be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks. fairy lights
  • Putting up your tree too soon  will dry it  out very quickly So do not put  up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks. Remember Twelve days of Christmas

Christmas Candle Safety

  • Candles in the home are getting a more and more popular way to create that  relaxing scented  “welcome home smell “   but only if used safely
  • Some people do not use them candle safely – which has seen a large increase in the number of candle related incidents. There were over 2,000 house fires due to candles. As a result, 10 people have died and over 900 were injured  They bring fire into your home. So treat them carefully…

Some Do’s and Don’ts…

  • Always put candles on a heat resistant surface. Be especially careful with night lights and tea lights, which get hot enough to melt plastic. TVs are not fire-resistant objects
  • Put them in a proper holder. Candles need to be held firmly upright by the holder so they won’t fall over. The holder needs to be stable too, so it won’t fall over either
  • Position them away from curtains. Don’t put candles near curtains or other fabrics – or furniture. And keep them out of draughts
  • Don’t put them under shelves. It’s easy to forget that there’s a lot of heat above a burning candle. If you put it under a shelf or other surface then it can burn the surface. Make sure there’s at least three feet (one meter) between a candle and any surface above it
  • Keep clothes and hair away. If there’s any chance you could lean across a candle and forget it’s there, put it somewhere else. You don’t want to set fire to your clothes or your hair
  • Keep children and pets away. Candles should be out of reach of children and pets
  • Keep candles apart. Leave at least four inches (10cm) between two burning candles
  • Take care with votive or scented candles. These kinds of candles turn to liquid to release their fragrance – so put them in a glass or metal holder
  • Don’t move them when they’re burning. Extinguish candles before moving them. Also, don’t let anything fall into the hot wax like match sticks
  • Don’t leave them burning. Extinguish candles before you leave a room. Never go to sleep with a candle still burning. And never leave a burning candle or oil burner in a child’s bedroom
  • Use a snuffer or a spoon to put them out. It’s safer than blowing them, which can send sparks and hot wax flying
  • Double-check they’re out. If you go out candles that have been put out can go on shouldering and start a fire.  Make sure they’re completely out

Christmas is a special time for celebration and should not end in tragedy because of the extra hazards that are PRESENT at this time of year…

Enjoy a Merry Christmas Drink Responsibly

NEVER DRINK AND DRIVE – And last night’s drinking can still mean you’re over the safe driving limit the morning after.

When the celebration is over…disposing of your tree

  • Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood burning stove. When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly. The best way to dispose of your tree is by taking it to a recycling center or having it taken away by a community pickup service.
  • Old Christmas cards can be recycled or may be needed by community organization (Scouts etc.)
  • And if you have been given the present  no body wanted  it may be worth giving it to Charity

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About the author

Eamon Griffin