Christmas Tips for a Safe Home!

Enjoy a Safe Christmas

The trees and decorations are going up and houses will soon be full of family and bustling with activity and excited children. Kitchens will be busy, candles lit and fireplaces roaring…All these things make Christmas the most wonderful time of year for many of us, yet they can also open our homes to more hazards than usual. 

Indeed, every year at this time, fire services see an increase in home fire incidents. The last thing any of us want is for an avoidable incident to spoil the big day or worse, but the good news is that with a little mindfulness and preparation you can ensure your family enjoy a safe and happy Christmas season.

We’ve put together this quick checklist of safety tips to have in mind as you prepare your home for the festivities ahead.


  • If you have an open fire you should be having your chimney cleaned and inspected at least once a year. Remember that Santa loves a clean chimney!
  • Check the batteries in all your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.Make sure you have backup batteries for each stored safely away for when they need changing and if not, put these on your Christmas shopping list!
  • Remember, you need a carbon monoxide alarm in every room where you use a stove or open fire.
  • Increasingly these days people are more inclined to use LED Christmas lights on their trees and in their homes. These are a huge safety improvement on the bulb lights of old (as well being far more energy efficient), but if you are still using old style  lights, do inspect the wires when you’re putting them up in your home. Check for fraying, kinks or broken connections and if you find any, retire them immediately and seek LED replacements.
  • You’ll likely be using more plug sockets than normal at this time of year and it can be tempting to overload plug sockets out of convenience, but please don’t - try to spread the load evenly among your available sockets instead.
  • Never plug one extension lead into another or you’ll risk overloading them.
  • Make it part of your bedtime routine to switch off all your Christmas lights, and likewise when you will be leaving them unattended for long periods of time.
  • Lit candles are a lovely part of our Christmas tradition in Ireland, but are also a potential fire hazard. Again, LED candles are a safer alternative these days, but if you will be burning real candles, make sure they fit securely in their holders, keep them away from other candles and at least a metre from anything flammable such as decorations, discarded wrapping paper or curtains.
  • Make sure checking that all your candles are extinguished is also part of your bedtime routine.
  • If you’re lucky enough to have young children in your house, keep matches out of their reach and make sure they are appropriately fire aware for their age.
  • When the all presents have been unwrapped don’t be tempted to throw the paper on the fire where it can get carried up your chimney and cause a fire - just recycle or compost it, either are safer and more environmentally friendly.



  • While many of us enjoy a tipple as a treat while preparing the Christmas dinner, it’s better to wait until everything is ready before indulging. Even a little alcohol impairment can make it easire to suffer burns or forget to turn off appliances!
  • With so many pots and pans on the hob, it can be easy to for them to overheat if left unattended. Try not to leave them unattended for anything other than a brief period as anyone who has come home to a blackened pot left to simmer, will know all too well!
  • If you should have a grease fire, remember never to try to extinguish it with water which will only make it more dangerous. Instead, use a fire blanket or quickly wet a towel and use it to smother the flames.



If you will be spending Christmas in someone else’s home, going abroad on a winter break or even just out of your home for a night, take some steps to secure your home before you leave

  • Don’t leave valuables anywhere that is visible from outside your home and make sure to lock all windows.
  • Consider getting timer switches for some lights in your house to make your house appear occupied while you are away. Smart plug devices are also available now which can allow you to switch lights on or off remotely using your phone or mobile device.
  • Be careful about posting that you are going away on social media. And while it can be tempting to share photos with family and friends while you’re away, saving these until you are home again will help ensure you don’t tip off any opportunistic thieves who may try to take advantage of a house they know is empty.
  • Leave a spare key with a trusted neighbour (rather than a hiding place you think is safe around the house!) and have your neighbour call to the house to check in when they can.

Aboce all, have a safe Christmas and to all the home makers out there, don't forget to put your feet up after a difficult year. 

Best Wishes to all from Brady Insurance!

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