Here are some top tips to ensure your seasonal ho, ho, ho doesn't turn to no, no, no!
It's the most wonderful time of the year, but Christmas can sometimes be a worrying time. Whether it's your Christmas lights, the forest of candles that are burning in your living room or the constantly on oven, there are lots of things that can go wrong in your home over the festive season.
We've compiled a list of the safety measures you could take in your home this Christmas to ensure it stays wonderful.
Want to have the best Christmas lights in the neighbourhood? Here’s how to do so responsibly:
- For any outdoor light, don’t run the electricity cord through window cracks. This creates an easy entrance for potential intruders
- Make sure that all Christmas lights – both indoors and out – carry the BSI kitemark. Faulty lights can be a fire hazard
- Make sure you switch off and unplug all lights before you go to bed, or whenever you leave the house. This will also prevent a shocker of an electricity bill the following month.
Candles help to create that Christmassy feeling. But use them sensibly:
- Keep all of the candles away from anything that could easily catch fire such as decorations, curtains and furniture
- Ensure to keep them and any matches or lighters out of reach of young children
- Blow out any candles if you’re leaving the room unoccupied, and certainly before leaving the house or going to bed
- Look out for hotwax. This could ruin your carpets or furniture.
Christmas morning is all about trying out the new toys and gadgets. But:
- Don’t overload your plug sockets, as this could cause an electrical fire. Definitely don’t plug adaptor plugs into other adaptor plugs
- Extension leads and adaptors have limits as to how many amps they can handle, so take care not to exceed these
- If you use a lot of power leads, keep them away from any heat sources and don’t leave them where they can easily be tripped over
- Don’t leave gadgets charging longer than needed
- Switch off and unplug everything that doesn’t need to be used overnight, before going to bed or leaving the house.
Other fire risks
- Most fires start in the kitchen. If the Christmas Day cook’s also combining their duty with sherry, it’s not a terrible idea to set timers. Fat can catch fire surprisingly easily. If it does, never pour water on it
- It sounds obvious, but be sure to turn off any cookers after use. Leaving them on is easily done
- If you like to roast your chestnuts on an open fire, just take care if there are young children about. Or if someone’s lurching about after a few too many Baileys
- You should test your smoke alarms regularly. Also think about an escape plan so that you’re prepared in the event of a fire. Your local Fire and Rescue Service offers free safety checks.
Whether you love or loathe Christmas shopping, here’s how to keep your bounty safe:
- Keep an eye on all of your shopping bags while out, and don’t leave them unattended. Try to keep expensive gifts out of sight and hidden well in the bags
- If you do your shopping online, don’t leave a note on the door telling the driver that you’re not in. Instead ask them to deliver it to a neighbour that you trust, or to take it to the nearest post office for safekeeping
- If you have an Admiral home insurance policy, let us know if you buy or receive any high-risk items over £1,000 or bikes over £350, so that we can ensure they’re fully covered on your policy
- If you have celebration cover then we automatically increase your contents sum insured to £5,000 (Gold) and £10,000 (Platinum) for 14 days either side of Christmas. This is to cover the cost of food and gifts. However, after this period you’ll need to inform us if your contents total has increased, so you’re not left underinsured
- When it comes to disposing packaging, don’t leave the boxes of expensive gifts on show outside.
Going away over the winter holiday
Theft is more commonplace in the holiday, with longer nights being a contributory factor. Plus it’s one of the busiest times of the year for parties, shopping and visiting friends and family which means that homes are left unoccupied for longer periods than usual.
Check your personal possessions limit on your home policy. Perhaps look to increase this if you’re going to be away from home a lot, and if you’re hoarding lots of gifts. If you are going away:
- set an alarm
- lock all doors and windows
- hide or remove valuables
- lock up any loose tools or ladders.
If you’re looking to go away for a longer period, then pause any regular deliveries, and sign up to Royal Mail Keepsafe scheme. Ask a neighbour or someone you trust to check the property regularly.
Timer lights are also a good investment – they’ll give the impression that your home is occupied.
Most importantly – don’t worry, have fun and be merry!