Having a Safer Christmas

This Christmas is going to be very different from any other. Thanks to COVID-19, there are even more safety factors to consider throughout the festive period than usual, from organising lockdown bubbles and keeping an eye on hygiene to turning off your Christmas lights at night. Here are a few tips to keep you and your family safe over the festive season.

Top Tips This Christmas

Keeping safe over Christmas is paramount, especially as we’re more likely socialise in groups, decorate at height, and drive on busy, slippery roads.

COVID-19 Tips

-          The government has scrapped plans to relax Covid rules at Christmas for London and much of south-east England, where tier four restrictions will now apply.

-          In other regions of England - in tiers one to three - Christmas bubbles will now only be allowed on 25 December. Similar plans have been announced in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

-          Take extra precautions to wash hands frequently, catch sneezes in tissues, and socially distance where possible.


Decorating Tips

-          If you’re putting up decorations outside, perhaps on the guttering, you’ll need a suitable ladder. Ladders don’t need load testing or non-destructive testing as visual checks should be enough to identify defects. If your ladder isn’t in the same condition that it was when you bought it, then it probably isn’t fit for purpose. If the job is risky, don’t do it!

-          Once you have selected a suitable ladder, make sure it reaches past the highest point that you will hang your lights. You’ll also need to ensure that you have a suitable handhold at all times while working at height. This means that you shouldn’t work on the top three rungs of your ladder. It’s also important to make sure that the ladder is secure and/or tied.

-          If you are working with electric decorations, ensure that all wires are in good condition and completely dry (outside storage such as sheds can let the moisture in). If you’ll be using a ladder to put up your decorations, test the decorations while you are on the ground and away from the electrical wiring.

-          This might sound obvious, but it catches people out every year. Don’t leave any interior electric lights left on over-night and don’t overload your power supply – you don’t want a fire risk.

-          Avoid accidents by getting rid of any electrical appliances in poor condition, especially if they have damaged wires.


Driving Tips

-          Drive within the speed limits and, if driving in wet, cold and/or freezing conditions, reduce your speed dramatically.

-          Plan your route and let people know of your journey.

-          Have any breakdown and/or insurance details to hand (whether electrically or in paper format) to make life easier in the unlikely event of breaking down or having an accident.

-          If you do have a breakdown and/or accident, if possible, remove yourself and/or passengers of the vehicle and move as far away from the road as safely possible. Call your insurance/breakdown team or even the emergency services, depending on the nature of the incident.


Have a Festive Christmas and a Better 2021!

With the above in mind, you can enjoy your festive period in safety. In short, you should aim to:

-          Keep safe when putting up indoor and outdoor Christmas decorations.  

-          Think about working at height and working with electricity.

-          Route-plan when travelling and let people know about your travels.

-          Though we are allowed to meet people over the Christmas period, only meet people if you really have to.

Have a great Christmas and a better new year.