The festive season is almost upon us and although it’s a great time of year for fun and frolics – it’s also the time of year when many accidents that occur in the home could so easily have been avoided.

The following tips are there to help you keep safe this Christmas and to make sure you have a Christmas that you never forget…for all of the right reasons.

1: Do not drink and drive and plan long journeys in advance so you won’t be driving tired. Despite the dangers and all of the reminders at this time of year, it’s startling how many people will not heed this warning – Keep yourself and others safe by not drinking if you are driving.

2: If you are considering having a fireworks display either over Christmas or New Year’s then make sure you follow the usual fireworks code and plan a fireworks party well in advance.

3: Make sure to keep decorations, cards and other flammable items away from fires and other heat sources such as light fittings. Don’t leave burning candles unattended, make sure you put them out before going out or to bed and do not put candles on Christmas trees.

4: Beware of trailing cables and wires in the rush to connect new gadgets and appliances, and always read instructions and when plugging in electrical appliances make sure you don’t overload plug sockets.

5: Look out for small items that could pose a choking hazard to young children, including parts that have fallen off toys, Christmas trees, small / button batteries and burst balloons.

6: Make sure that any children’s gifts that are bought are for the correct age group and from reputable sources that comply with manufacturer standards (e.g. The Toys (Safety) Regulations 2011).

7: Remember to check the batteries in your smoke alarms this year to ensure that all are properly operational.

8: The vast majority of fires over Christmas start in the kitchen so make sure that cookers are not left unattended and where possible try to make sure that you leave yourself enough time to prepare and cook Christmas dinner to avoid hot fat, boiling water and sharp knife accidents that come from trying to rush around.

9: Over the Christmas period falls are the most common accidents so try to keep clutter to a minimum and make sure that stairs are well-lit and free from obstacles, especially if you have guests.

10: Given the cold weather and possible snow and ice that might have accumulated over the winter period, it’s important to make sure that elderly and potentially isolated loved ones are safe over the Christmas holidays. If you are able to visit or make sure that they are safe whilst retaining regular communication with them then this should ensure that they are safe, healthy and well over the Christmas period.

11: Please remember, Christmas novelties are not toys, even if they resemble them on occasions. As ornaments they do not have to comply with the usual toy safety regulations. Give careful thought to where you display them, for example, place them high up on Christmas trees where they are out of the reach of young curious hands.

12: Have fun this Christmas, but try to remain cautious and observant so as to avoid the common hazards and risks that might occur.

Happy Christmas from everyone at D E Ford

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