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Keeping Safe over Christmas

So to ensure the safety of you and your family over the holidays, here are some top tips on keeping safe this Christmas!

Alcohol

Christmas is a time of over-indulgence and it is a well-accepted fact that people throughout the country will be enjoying a drink or two. In fact, combined ONS statistics (Official for National Statistics) claim “Britons drink 41% more in December than the annual monthly average”.

However, it’s important to remember that the consumption of alcohol can be incredibly dangerous, particularly in large quantities, and you should still take care of yourself and those around you during the festivities.

One of the biggest concerns around Christmas is drink-driving. You should never drink more than the recommended limit and drive – no matter how short the distance. Additionally, experts recommend that you never cook when under the influence of alcohol and, whilst they encourage you to enjoy yourself, you should keep your alcohol intake to a safe, responsible level.

Slips, Falls and Accidents

NHS statistics show more than 80,000 people a year require hospital treatment for injuries such as falls, cuts and burns over the Christmas period. Whether it’s due to the icy roads, attempting the stairs with an armful of presents, or standing on chairs or ladders to put up decorations, the number of accidents rises significantly, making safety measures especially important.

If the roads and pavements are slippery, make sure you wear boots with grip and take extra care whilst driving. In addition, be careful when putting up decorations. Don’t leave lights laying on the floor to avoid people stepping on them and take care when putting up your tree. An estimated 1000 people are hurt by their Christmas tree each year – make sure you’re not one of them!

Keeping Warm

Cold homes can have a hugely detrimental effect on people’s lives – both in terms of their comfort and, more importantly, their health. Keeping warm over the winter will help to prevent illnesses, such as colds, flu and pneumonia, and can also aid mental conditions, such as depression.

The Met Office recommends heating your home to between 18°C and 21°C and also suggest wrapping up with layers and closing doors and windows to prevent the heat from escaping. If you’re finding it difficult to pay your heating bill, you may be eligible for financial and practical help from the Government, including their Winter Fuel Payment and Cold Weather Payment schemes.

Keeping Well

As previously mentioned, keeping your home warm over Christmas can significantly improve your chances of remaining fit and healthy. In addition to this, eating well, trying to contain the spread of colds and flu and employing good levels of personal hygiene, particularly washing your hands, are all great steps to follow to keep healthy over the winter months.

One of the other major health concerns over Christmas is food poisoning. The NHS say a huge contributing factor to this is the fact that 80% of people wash their turkey before cooking it, which can actually significantly increase the spread of germs to kitchen surfaces. Furthermore, one in five of us will risk food poisoning by eating turkey leftovers after the recommended two day limit.

You should check all the food you eat and prepare over Christmas follows safety guidelines and is cooked properly. Similarly, be mindful of expiration dates and don’t eat leftovers that have been in the fridge for longer than their recommended limit.

Fire Safety

christmas gifts under the tree

Fire safety is one of the biggest concerns over Christmas and, according to Government statistics, you are up to 50% more likely to die in a house fire during the festive period than at any other time of year. A combination of alcohol, smoking, cooking, decorations and candles can significantly increase the likelihood of fire and there are a number of things you must do to keep your home, and everyone within it, as safe as possible.

As stated before, you should never cook when under the influence of alcohol. When you are cooking, take care, never leave the kitchen unattended and make sure children are kept away from hobs and ovens. To ensure your optimum safety over Christmas you should avoid smoking indoors and should never smoke in bed or when you feel sleepy.

Care should be taken with decorations: make sure any fairy lights you use are in full working order and obtained from a reputable source and ensure all flammable materials (such as paper decorations, cushions, curtains etc.) are kept as far away as possible from possible ignition sources.