The Queensland holiday season is synonymous with family fun and warm summer weather. However, amidst the festive cheer, it’s important to prioritize fire safety to ensure your celebrations remain merry and bright. Christmas fire safety is important during this time of year, as the combination of dry trees, electrical decorations, and other festive lighting can pose a potential fire hazard. Here are some essential tips to keep your family home safe and sound this Queensland Christmas season.
Mindful Tree Placement: Choose a fresh, green Christmas tree and keep it well-hydrated. Position it away from any potential heat sources. A dry tree can quickly become a fire hazard, so water it regularly and dispose of it promptly after the holidays.
Position your tree strategically – make sure it’s not blocking any exits. This ensures that, in the unfortunate event of a fire, everyone can easily evacuate the home.
Lights Check: Inspect all Christmas lights before decorating your tree and home. Discard any frayed or damaged cords and replace burnt-out bulbs promptly. Opt for LED lights, which emit less heat than traditional incandescent lights, reducing the risk of fire. Be wary of non-compliant cheap imports and ensure your lights have the appropriate Australian electrical safety regulatory compliance mark (RCM). Always turn off all Christmas lights and decorations before going to bed or leaving the house. This simple step not only conserves energy but also reduces the risk of electrical malfunctions that could lead to a fire.
Interconnected Smoke Alarms: Equip your home with interconnected smoke alarms inside every bedroom, hallway outside the bedrooms, and have at least one on each level of the dwelling. Press the test button on the alarm to check they are in good working order (i.e. so if one smoke alarm goes off, they all go off). Create a fire escape plan and share it with your family and any visitors who may be staying with you. Keep fire extinguishers handy, and make sure everyone knows their location and how to use them. Spending 10 minutes to review this information with your loved ones could avoid becoming a Christmas tragedy headline on the evening news.
Power Board Wisdom: Avoid overloading electrical wall outlets and power boards. Spread out the use of multiple appliances and decorations across different outlets to prevent overloading and subsequent overheating. Choose a power board which has in-built overload protection.
Candle Caution: Candles add a traditional warm glow to the festive atmosphere, but they can also pose a fire risk. Keep candles away from flammable materials such as window curtains, place them in stable holders, and never leave them unattended. Consider using realistic looking flameless LED candles as a safer modern alternative.
Cooking Vigilance: The holiday season often involves elaborate meals and festive cooking. Stay vigilant in the kitchen, and never leave cooking unattended. Keep flammable items, such as kitchen tea towels and oven mitts, away from open flames and other heat sources. Keep a fire blanket nearby to help extinguish any cooking flames on the stove top.
By following these Christmas fire safety tips, you can enjoy a festive and worry-free holiday season. Ensuring interconnected smoke alarms are installed and working means the joy of Christmas remains in our hearts without the threat of fire casting a shadow on the celebrations. Merry Christmas Queensland! Thank you all for your amazing support throughout 2023, and we look forward to another incredibly busy and productive year in 2024! Best wishes and Happy New Year to all!
Questions? We love talking smoke alarms! Feel free to call us 0478 596 402
Photoelectric Smoke Alarms Australia
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) have more helpful information about Christmas tree fire safety – watch the video below and refer to their information sheet which is available for download here.