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Home Insurance

01 Oct 2019

Home safety tips for the holiday season 

Tis’ the season to be merry and gather to celebrate the ones we love. While we’re enjoying great food, friends and family; and letting our creative sides loose on decorating the house from top to bottom with sparkly decorations - it’s important to remember to take all the necessary precautions to see the festive season though safely. Here are some home safety tips for the holiday season:

Christmas lights

A Christmas tradition in any family is the all-important ‘turning on of the lights’. It indicated the official start of the festivities. Whether you’re a tree only family or your house rivals the North Pole, unravelling of the Christmas light knots has become a tradition.  We strategically place them around the tree in all the right places to showcase the decorations representing a family history of Christmas’ past. And then we flick the switch and it begins.

Santa clause isn’t the only person who these ‘Christmas lights’ keep busy during the silly season. This tradition is actually one of the top reasons house fires start during December keeping our fire-fighters in their toes as well. Of all Christmas decorations can also be one of the most dangerous. Here are some tips to make help keep your lights safe this season:

  • Test your lights before they go up. If you are a seasoned house decorator it might be a good idea to get your lights tagged and tested with your local electrician.
  • Make sure any power boards or extension cords are intended for where you are using them (indoor or outdoor)
  • It goes with out saying but unless you’re a sparky, don’t alter or modify any lights
  • Turn any decorative lights off at night, before going to bed or leaving the house, it will help you sleep too!
  • Don’t run electrical cords on driveways or traffic area
  • Follow the manufacturers instructions when using any electrical equipment
  • Set your lights on a timer – this will save on energy and ensure that you’re able to monitor them
  • Don’t overload your power points
  • Turn off any outdoor lighting in wet or stormy weather


Christmas trees

You can’t beat the smell of a fresh Christmas tree and picking the perfect tree is essential. Something to add to your list when choosing a tree is to make sure the tree has intact needles (not dry ones).  This will make your tree less likely to catch fire. According to the Department of Fire & Emergency Services in Western Australia, a fire can engulf a room in 4 minutes - a dry Christmas tree would not only fuel, but also speed up the time it takes for a fire to destroy a room.

  • Keep trees watered so they don’t dry out quickly
  • Keep your tree away from heat sources like candles and fireplaces
  • If your tree is artificial, make sure that it’s flame resistant and compatible with any decorations you add to it
  • Keep electrical plugs and appliances away from children


Christmas is one of the most popular times of the year for candles so we need to be on the look out for any dangers, especially with Australia’s hot weather at this time of the year.

  • Never leave candles unattended or near flammable objects such as curtains
  • Don’t let children play with matches when lighting candles. While fun for the kids, matches can quickly lead to major house fires
  • Make sure candles are on a secure base and not at risk of falling over and setting objects alight
  • Blow candles out if you’re leaving the room, even during the day


Whether you’re a baked turkey or a prawn on the barbie person, there are steps you can take to make sure the biggest problem you’ll have this holiday season, is when to take your afternoon food nap.

  • Never leave your cooking unattended
  • Make sure pots and pan handles are turned inwards when on the stove and not over an open flame
  • Keep your cooking space clean with no excess oils or fats that can catch fire
  • Don’t put metals inside the microwave. Always check the container label to make sure it’s microwave safe
  • Keep objects like tea towels away from open flame


Finally check your smoke detectors and fire alarms to make sure they’re working. If required, add batteries to you shopping list and not just for the toys. If you have any queries about smoke alarms or their installation, please contact your local fire station.

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