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Top 4 Tips for Preventing Christmas Accidents At Home

19th October 2010
By Jessica Parker in Accident claims
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Christmas is one of the most fun times of the year. But with all the commotion involved in meeting up with the family, over-excited children, and with alcohol added to the mix as well, it can also present dangers in terms of health and safety in the home.

Every year, home accidents lead to around 4,000 deaths and there are 2.7 million accidents in the home which require hospital treatment according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). While home accidents, unlike accidents in the workplace, are not likely to result in accident claims, preventing accidents at Christmas can be as easy as removing objects from the path of your guests. So make sure you take our advice and use these top four tips for preventing accidents in your home this Christmas.

1. Donít fall over the new toys!

Slips, trips and falls are a major risk and one of the most common reasons for accident claims in the UK. While you are highly unlikely to be claimed against, it makes sense to take heed of this danger so you can prevent accidents from happening to loved ones in your home. Toys, gift wrap and other bits and pieces commonly left lying around on the floor at Christmas time can all pose a risk for slips and trips. Particularly if you have elderly or very young guests, slips and trips are a big danger so be sure to clear any obstacles from walkways and stairs before they cause an accident.

2. Keep a close eye on candles

Christmas is a great time for the romantic glow of candles, but open flames can also pose a great fire hazard. Only leave candles alight when there are people present in the same room and be sure to blow them out when you leave. Also make sure candles are not near to anything flammable. For a safer option, battery or mains electricity operated candles can provide the flicker without the flame. Just before Christmas is a good time to test your smoke alarms, as according to Directgov, you are more than twice as likely to die in a fire at home if you donít have one. With all the appliances running over the Christmas period it is sensible to ensure yours are working.

3. Be careful with Christmas cookery

If you have children around at Christmas, you will need to make sure the cooker is used in the safest way possible. This can involve measures as simple as cooking with the pot handles facing the back of the cooker so they cannot be reached by small children, and using the back hobs first. If your Christmas cooking panic causes you to spill ingredients on the floor, it is essential to clear it up straight away and then dry the area so passersby donít slip and fall.

4. Beware of Christmas decoration hazards

When putting up decorations or changing Christmas light bulbs, use a secure step-ladder which reaches to the right height Ė wobbling on an unstable chair is just asking for trouble. When plugging in all those Christmas gadgets and Christmas tree lights, be careful about old, worn cables or cracked plugs as these can pose a serious fire hazard. Remember, a mistake such as this could lead to accident claims if it had occurred in the workplace. Try not to overload sockets with too many appliances at once. Socket guards for sockets near to the floor can be a good idea if you have children visiting.
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