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How to keep you and your family safe this Christmas

about 1 year ago
How to keep you and your family safe this Christmas

We are certainly on the countdown to Christmas: our streets are lined with twinkles and sparkles, and hopefully you will have plans in place to enjoy the festive season with loved ones – and let’s be honest we think everyone deserves a nice Christmas after the year we have all had!  However, the cost of living crisis and increase in many people’s rent or mortgage repayments may mean many of us are a little stretched financially this year and looking for ways to save money, but we hope that nobody is tempted to do anything, that even unwittingly is an unnecessary risk and that could impact your family’s safety.  Which is why our team Maurice Kilbride in Cheadle has put together some simple tips to help you and your family have a lovely, safe 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 Christmas.” – 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 Cheadle decorated inside and out with a variety of colourful lights and decorations and we must say we have seen some mighty fine one’s on our travels around the village. 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 a significant number 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? We weren’t aware of this and it only became apparent during our research for the blog article! 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 or securely fastened and impossible for a little one to open.

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. On behalf of Joe, Patrick and Maurice we hope these tips will help ensure that you and your family have a safe and magical Christmas.

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