‘Standard’ advice for a safe and merry Christmas

Lights, decorations and a christmas tree are a wonderful part of the holidays. You should however take special precautions to make sure they're safe. Here are four expert tips to ensure that your family's holiday season is happy, healthy and hazard-free.

1. Check that Christmas lights comply with safety standards and have the CE mark. When using lights outdoor always ensure that they are suitable for this purpose – this is usually indicated by labelling on the box or by a permanent label attached to them. Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections, and throw out damaged sets.

2. Never leave candles unattended and always place candle holders on a heat resistant surface. Keep candles away from children and animals.

3. Place the Christmas Tree away from fireplaces, wood stoves, televisions, computer monitors and other heat sources. Place the Christmas Tree clear of doors to keep a possible emergency escape route clear in case of a fire. If you buy an artificial tree, make sure it is labeled as fire resistant. If you have a natural tree, make sure it is fresh. Look for needles that are hard to pull from the branches. Natural christmas tree are highly inflammable, especially if they are dry.

4. Keep Christmas decorations at a distance of at least 50 cm from heat sources. Keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children. Avoid trimmings that might resemble candy or food that could entice a child to eat them.

Enjoy the holidays ! We suggest that you take a look at the packaging of some of the gifts you receive and check for quality and safety marks and references to standards.

You will be surprised to find that standards are everywhere, even under the Christmas tree!