Christmas is probably one of the most exciting seasonal holidays. The decorations around the home, the glittering lights, the smell of pine coming from the Christmas tree and the dazzle from all of the fun baubles that adorn it, all help to bring the holiday spirit into your home.
The season to be jolly is just around the corner now, but don’t worry if you’re feeling unprepared, there is still plenty of time to get into the festive mood and break out those Christmas decorations.
Arguably, the main attraction of any festive decorations around the home is the Christmas tree. However, whether you choose to opt for a real or artificial Christmas tree comes down to more than just a matter of personal preference. Unfortunately, Christmas trees are a fire hazard. You don’t have to give them up entirely, but you do need to be safe when decorating your home with a Christmas tree.
Typically, artificial Christmas trees are a safer choice than live alternatives. If you choose an artificial Christmas tree you should always check that your tree is certified by the manufacturer as fire-retardant. If you choose a live Christmas tree, try to avoid spots near heat sources such as radiators, fireplaces and even in front of sunny windows, to avoid it drying out too quickly. Most live Christmas trees last about 4 weeks and you should dispose of them once the needles have started to drop.
When disposing of a live Christmas tree, do not be tempted to burn it in your fireplace or wood-burning stove. The sap from a Christmas tree can be a bit explosive when burning and pine needles also contain elements that, when burning, form dangerous toxic gases. In a worst-case scenario, the extreme heat given off by burning the branches of a Christmas tree could lead to a chimney fire. There are many recycling programs all over the country that are able to help with disposing of your Christmas tree safely.
Christmas Lights & Candles
Another part of what makes Christmas feel so warm and inviting is the twinkling lights. To make sure your Christmas lights are safe this year, check the labels and use them accordingly. Remember that some lights are for indoor use and some are for outdoor use, so it’s important to always read and follow the manufacturers’ guidelines.
Make sure there is a bulb in every socket and that there are no loose connections or frayed wires. Indoor lights should not touch the curtains or carpeting. Do not hammer nails or tacks straight into electrical cords, use clips to attach the lights safely. Do not overload your plug sockets with extension cords and only use extension cords outdoors if they are designated for outdoor use. If you have small children in your home, use safety caps on all electrical outlets that are not being used. Always turn the lights off when you leave the house or go to bed or use a timer.
Candles at Christmas are also popular. They create the perfect atmosphere for Christmas and Advent Candles are traditionally used for the Christmas countdown. However, any naked flame will pose a fire risk to your home so make sure that you keep them away from the Christmas tree and do not leave candles burning unsupervised.
For many people, a large part of decorating their home includes shopping for and wrapping up gifts in the run-up to Christmas. But thieves take advantage of high-value gifts being left under the Christmas tree, and burglary cases rise in the week during Christmas.
If this happens to you then you might be wondering if stolen Christmas gifts are protected by your home insurance policy. Typically, Christmas presents will only be covered if you have home contents insurance or a specific insurance policy in place for the items that have been stolen.
Protecting Your Home
Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year for insurance claims, including theft and fire. If you also take into account the low premium that you pay for cheap home insurance then you will realise that it simply doesn’t make sense to take the risk and leave your home uninsured.
For more advice check out our post on 4 Tips to Avoid Home Insurance Claims Over the Seasonal Holidays or our infographic on the Top 10 Christmas Insurance Claims, and remember that by taking the proper precautions when decorating your home this Christmas, you can prevent common hazards, allowing you to spend more time focusing on friends and family during the holidays.
Call Ashburnham Insurance for free on 0800 1696137, we are always happy to discuss what your home insurance options are based on your particular requirements.