The 8 most significant hazards that can make your Christmas holiday unpleasant

Jul 14, 2021 / Michal Jirák

We are approaching the end of the year, so we decided to write two articles in a lightweight spirit, which should help you "survive" at the end of the year without any harm. What is better to avoid during Christmas celebrations to minimize the risk of any injuries? You can find the answer to this question in this article. In the second article, we will focus on the New Year's festivity.

I think we can agree that nothing can worsen Christmas atmosphere more than visiting an emergency. Christmas is a magical season. However, annual traditions and Christmas celebrations can often lead to unpleasant accidents. We offer guidance on how to avoid these risks and start new year health and with a good mood.

1. Beware of the location of the Christmas tree

The ignition of a Christmas tree is not such a frequent phenomenon, but if it does, this accident will cause only material damage at best. However, there is an annual increase in the number of fires during Christmas season.

How to prevent this danger? As a precaution, you should not place the Christmas tree closer than a meter from any open-source of heat, such as fireplaces or stoves. Then you should get a stand that allows continuous irrigation of the tree ideally - the drier the tree, the easier it can catch fire. Sufficient weight and low centre of gravity should also be a priority when choosing a stand to reduce the risk of tipping over

2. Don't overdo using Christmas lights

Before you decide to illuminate every square meter of your garden and house with light decoration, make sure you have purchased the lighting for the intended conditions. Find out the wattage of each light chain and never plug devices with more wattage than it is permitted for each wall socket (you will not have probably a problem with new LED strings).

If you are purchase new lighting devices, always check that they are intended for indoor or outdoor use. If you use old bulbs whose are older than your grandma (often "family heritage"), check it for signs of damage before use. Lights with frayed and cracked cables cannot be recommended for further use.

Even though the lights seem best secure, be sure to turn off all lights when you leave the house, including Christmas interior lights. In an unguarded moment, a short circuit is enough.

3. Candles have their charm, but they are still open fire

More than 90 per cent of the population uses electrical devices instead of candles and sparklers to illuminate the Christmas tree. However, December is still the month with the highest frequency of household fires caused by lighted candles. Sure, candles are essential to creating a festive atmosphere, but it is good to follow a few rules to reduce the risk of fire.

Lighted candles should be placed at least 30 cm away from surrounding objects, and it is advisable to cut the wick to about 7 mm before using them. It is also worth following the simple rule that the candle should not burn for more than 1 hour at 2 cm of diameter to allow the wax to melt evenly. Ideally, you should blow out a 6 cm diameter candle after three hours. And, never leave candles in an unattended room.

4. It may sound obvious, but only firewood belongs to the fireplace

Wrapping paper, Christmas tree or garland can do a terrible service in the fireplace. For example, pine needles burn much faster than logs and create many sparks that can flow into both the room and the roof and cause the house to catch fire.

Burning conifers are also the cause of creosote (a highly flammable aromatic hydrocarbon) accumulating in the chimney. This is again the cause of unexpected fires in the home. The colours of the wrapping paper can then contain heavy metals, which are deposited in the body and inconspicuously poison the body after inhalation of smoke.

If you are going to leave your house or go to sleep, it is better to extinguish the fire than to leave it unattended. Also, do not forget the annual chimney revision by an expert.

5. Be cautious of broken Christmas decorations

Do your children laugh to you because you are clumsy? Do you act like a bull in a china shop? Maybe not, but times to times everyone can drop the Christmas decoration. If this happens to you and the decoration breaks, collect large pieces of glass and wrap them in a newspaper or paper napkin before throwing them in the garbage. Then you can use a damp piece of white bread to collect smaller shards, for example. Finally, vacuum the area to be sure.

In general, you should pay special attention to the cleanliness of the floor during Christmas, even if your mother-in-law is not going to visit. Beware of loose hooks and sweep or vacuum fallen needles as often as you can. Neglected dirt can cause slip or fall, and pets and small children can play with them. In the worst case, they may even taste particles of dirt that they shouldn't eat.

6. Your pets also deserve your care

Cats can consider the shining chain as a toy, but in their digestive tract can entangle a single fringe and cause serious consequences. Holly, mistletoe and poinsettia are poisonous for cats and dogs.

As for Christmas sweets (not specially baked for pets), their specific shape, or even the wrapping of candies placed on the tree, may pose a risk of suffocation for the pets. Sugar-free sweets with manufactured sweetener xylitol are then poisonous to dogs.

7. Beware of slippery places around the house

During Christmas, we are already struggling with relatively low temperatures. Festive preparations can cause we can forget about the maintenance of the adjacent parts of the house. The driveway and sidewalks around the house should be kept free of ice and snow, especially if you expect holiday guests. In fighting against slippery and snowy surfaces, you can help yourself in different ways. Most often it is a road salt (beware of environmental impacts), which effectively dissolves ice to -9 ° C, at lower temperatures you can use gravel, sawdust or ash.

Be careful when removing snow. Wear the right shoes to provide you with enough anti-slip support, keep your feet wide apart and lower your centre of gravity and move more prudently, with smaller steps.

8. Think of your kinds

Not every toy is designed for young children, which you should keep in mind when choosing them. Parents tend to endow their children with popular toys. More youthful children usually want to play with what their older siblings. However, what is suitable for a child of school age is not ideal for a pre-schooler.

Problems are mainly caused by toys intended for children of older age composed of many smaller parts. It is, therefore, ideal for resisting and purchasing only toys that are adequate to the child's age.

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