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We are certainly on the countdown to Christmas: our streets are lined with twinkles and sparkles, and you no doubt have plans in place to enjoy the festive season. The cost of living crisis may mean you are looking for ways to cut some corners, but we hope that you are not going to take any risks that could impact your family’s safety.  Which is why our team at Charles David Casson have put together some simple tips to help keep you and your family safe this Christmas.

Christmas trees

A real Christmas tree is still a popular choice in the UK, the fragrance adding a magical aroma to the whole festive experience. “The smell of pine needles, spruce, and the smell of a Christmas tree, those to me, are the scents of the holidays.” – Blake Lively.

 

 

According to Scribbler’s 2022 Christmas tree statistics, around 85 per cent of UK adults have a Christmas tree at home. However, with the magic of a real tree comes a risk if they are not cared for properly, as they have the potential to catch fire more quickly than the fire-retardant fake ones.  Real trees can absorb around a litre of water every day so it is essential that you keep it well watered so it doesn’t dry out.

Christmas lights

It is always a joy, for us as estate agents, to see homes in Chelmsford decorated inside and out with a variety of colourful lights and decorations. But after being boxed away for the last year, it is easy for your lights to become electrically unsafe, so there are some precautions and checks that it’s recommended you undertake.

 

 

Before you start to decorate, make sure that your lights are not broken or damaged, and keep an eye out for any loose wires. If you need to replace any bulbs, only use the same type of replacement bulbs and rating as the original. Try to prevent overloading sockets by using extension leads and sockets, and always unplug everything before you go to bed or leave your home.

Carbon monoxide

As of 1 October, there has been a change in regulation for landlords with regard to carbon monoxide alarms in homes.  Landlords are now required to place a carbon monoxide alarm in all rooms in a property where there is a ‘fixed combustion appliance’, for example a fireplace or a boiler. Yet many homeowners do not have a carbon monoxide alarm at home, even though tens of people die from carbon monoxide poisoning every year. 

Everyday appliances, such as gas boilers, gas cookers, and wood, gas and coal fires can all produce carbon monoxide should they be faulty, not maintained or incorrectly installed. They can be found online and in DIY stores, and could potentially save the life of a family member, so are well worth the investment.

Christmas gifts

One in ten of us Brits will have first-hand experience of receiving a shock from an electrical product we have purchased online, or had an electrical fire. Did you know that online stores and marketplaces such as Amazon Marketplace, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace are not required by law to check the safety of any products? This has led to around a third of people purchasing a fake electrical appliance in a bid to save some money. When you purchase from high street stores you can be safe in the knowledge that all the checks have been made and it will be safe to use.

 

 

Please also be careful when purchasing toys, too, for your little ones. WHICH reported last year that “More than 40% of toys bought from AliExpress, Amazon, eBay and Wish failed standard safety tests and were unsafe.” They found parts and small plastic pieces broke off easily and could easily be swallowed and, thus, become a choking hazard, but also magnets and button batteries if swallowed could cause internal damage. Make sure you undertake some checks before you let your children play with toys that you have purchased that are not from a high street store. Look for missing instructions and warning labels, and check that any battery compartments are lockable.

Christmas cooking

One of the appliances we have been recommended to use during this cost of living crisis is our microwave, yet they start more than half of all accidental house fires in the UK. When it comes to using your microwave, remember to always keep the vents clear and, as our kitchens tend to have more things in them than normal this time of year, avoid storing things on top of them. Give your microwave a regular clean to prevent a build-up of grease and dirt. It is also recommended that you don’t use them with an extension lead.

Common sense

Most of this, as we know, is common sense, but whilst we are all distracted and being pulled in different directions, it is always good to have a reminder. We hope these tips will help ensure that you and your family have a safe and still magical Christmas.

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