This information originally appeared on Daft.ie
Festive fire safety advice
Zurich has come up with a handy list of tips and safeguards that every household should do this Christmas:
- Don’t overload: Do not overload any electrical points, sockets or adapters. Do not consider doubling up on extension cords. It may be tempting to do so to gain more reach, but cords were not designed for this use. Stick to one and invest in longer cords if necessary.
- Candles: It may sound obvious, but candles are often used as festive tree decorations which is a big risk. Equally, candles should not be positioned anywhere they are likely to catch fire, such as near curtains or hanging decorations.
- Chimney: Your chimney should be cleaned once a year to help to reduce the chances of a chimney fire.
- Fire resistance: If you have an artificial tree, be sure that it is flame retardant. If it is not, buy a new one that is.
- Inspect: Carefully inspect Christmas light strings each year before putting them up. Discard any lights with frayed cords or loose connections. Ensure the correct wattage and voltage is used for replacement bulbs.
- Quality over cost: Always choose quality Christmas lights. They come with accredited certification stating that the products comply with applicable standards for safety and performance.
- Outdoor not indoor: Whether indoor or outdoor lights – use them for their correct purpose. When hanging outdoor lights, ensure that the lights are suitable for the outdoors and not used indoors. Outdoor lights are insulated specially for that purpose.
- Unplug: When electrical appliances are not in use, unplug them.
- Switch off: It’s important to remember to switch off Christmas lights when going to bed, leaving the house or when unattended for long periods of time.
Here are some tips to help keep your home secure and avoid break-ins:
- Alarm bells: Make your home alarm visible and noisy. Consider a monitored alarm and choose a wireless alarm as they will still work during a power outage.
- Hide not seek: Hide keys and valuables out of sight, and also hide proof of purchase of valuables.
- On time: Apply timed switches on lights so it looks like you are home.
- Lock & key: Install good quality locks such as levered deadlocks on your doors and windows.
- Light it up: Install garden lighting and keep valuable items such as bikes and power tools locked away securely.
- Candid camera: Installing home security cameras can act as a deterrent to would-be burglars.
- Home alone: If going on holiday ask a neighbour or friend to keep an eye on the house and make it appear as if you are at home.
- Keep quiet: Don’t share on social media that you will be away.
- Right cover: Make sure you have adequate insurance in place in the unfortunate eventuality of being burgled.