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Home Safety at Christmas

Follow our simple home safety tips to help you enjoy your Christmas celebrations.

Festive decorations and lights brighten up the season, but make sure you take precautions for electrical and fire safety.

Be particularly careful with candles - they are special and need extra care.

  • Decorations have to comply with standards to make them less likely to burst into flames, but they are not fire-proof. So be careful where you put them and what they are in contact with.

  • Candles are very attractive but can easily set fire to other material items, such as table cloths and curtains. Never leave candles unattended or put them on a Christmas tree.

  • Do not leave Christmas lights on when you are out or in bed

  • Do not overload plugs and sockets with too many appliances or cables.

  • Check that the insulation on your Christmas decorations has not perished since last year.

Child Safety at Christmas

Christmas is a joyous time for children, but is your home safe for them to enjoy? There are often more choking hazards at Christmas - for example cracker gifts, tree decorations, presents from other people, nuts and batteries for toys or other presents, especially button ones.

Toys must be safe by law but how they are used and the age of the child are important factors in preventing accidents. Many accidents involving toys occur when people trip over them and when babies play with toys intended for older children.

To avoid trips and falls, tidy up toys and Christmas wrapping paper, and ensure that the wires from Christmas lights cannot be tripped over.

Mistletoe and holly are poisonous. If you do not want plastic foliage, hang greenery well out of the reach of children and beware of berries falling onto the floor.

Have a safe and merry Christmas!

Christmas Shopping

While enjoying your Christmas shopping, make sure you know your consumer rights and keep safety in mind. Do not buy cheap imports or second hand goods if they do not conform to product safety standards - they could be a serious safety hazard to you or your children. Be particularly careful buying toys and clothes for children.

If anything you buy - from gifts to a new set of fairy lights - turns out to be faulty you have a right to claim a repair, replacement or refund. If an item is faulty, it is up to the retailer you bought the goods from to sort the matter out - not the manufacturer.

Keep all your receipts in case you need to return any purchases. For more advice about all aspects of consumer rights contact Trading Standards.

When you are buying Christmas presents for children, think about animal welfare. Remember a dog is for life, not just for Christmas. When people buy puppies as presents, many are then dumped in the New Year.

Who Are You Buying Presents for This Christmas?

Do not neglect home security at this time of year - cold-hearted burglars can take advantage of expensive gifts all in one place under the tree. Do not let them ruin your family’s celebrations.

The fact that it is Christmas makes no difference to burglars. Empty boxes outside a house or nice new presents which are easy to spot inside are just too tempting to resist, no matter how much misery burglary causes at this time of year.

Contact Details

  • Name Food and Consumer Safety
  • Address People Directorate, 4 Ednam Road, Dudley, West Midlands DY1 1HL
  • Telephone 0300 555 2345