How to avoid a Christmas catastrophe

This is a collaborative post 

The Christmas and new year period is the highlight of the year for most families, particularly those with a smattering of over excited rug rats chasing around the place and raising the excitement levels through the roof. It is also a time when there is a bigger potential for things to go wrong.  

Changes to routine, over indulgence in all things, failure to pay attention – probably they all combine, but Christmas is a massively busy time for Accident and Emergency departments and fire brigades across the country.  

I sometimes wish we could just go out and buy some caution signs, put them up all around the house and have done with it, but I suspect that wouldn’t quite do the job with my brood, or with yours, so here are some basic tips for avoiding disaster over the holiday period.  

Careful with the lights
It is easy to make the assumption that we don’t have to worry about today’s LEDs compared with those old fairy lights we might remember our fathers wrestling with from our own childhoods. The trouble is that although they are inherently safer and don’t get so hot, there is also a greater proliferation of poor quality ones on the market. You should always check for a CE mark when buying any electrical goods, and still switch them off when you go to bed or leave the house.  

Water the tree
There’s nothing like a real tree, but the fact that we get coerced into starting Christmas earlier and earlier every year means that by the time the day itself comes around, the tree might well have been standing there in your living room for the best part of a month. With the central heating doing its thing, you need to keep the tree regularly watered, or after all that time it will literally be like kindling. Make doubly certain that you keep candles well away from it. 

Don’t stretch your luck with the extension leads
“One and done,” is the watchword here. No doubt the kids will be unwrapping all sorts of electronic gadgets – and probably the adults too – and of course, they will want to charge them all at once. Just be sensible and don’t overload the socket outlets, as they can easily overheat and cause an electrical fire. One trailing socket out of the wall is fine – a whole series of them is asking for trouble. 

Clear up the cardboard
Wow. One moment you have all those lovingly wrapped and labelled gifts set out under the tree. Seconds later, the living room looks like a war zone and there is discarded paper, boxes, cartons and heaven knows what else strewn everywhere. Next thing you know, people are falling over it, knocking things over, damaging themselves, stepping on the kids’ new toys and setting fire to the place. It sounds comical, but it really happens, so spare five minutes to squash it all down and pop it outside ready for the recycling collection.  

Christmas can be chaos. Wonderful but chaos. Hopefully, these few things will give you (and I) a helping hand to keep on top of safety!

 

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