How to Stay Fire-Free this Christmas

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! As the second-hand Christmas trees, traditional foil decorations and recycled lights are unpacked for another year, so should your fire awareness training.

At Synergy Fire Engineering we know of so many fires caused by decorations, faulty lights, overloaded plug sockets or piles of Christmas cards and packaging catching fire. That’s why we believe Christmas is one of the most important times of year to ensure your colleagues are protected from potential fires.

It may not feel festive, but it might save your life. Many fires could be prevented if employers and employees alike were more fire safety conscious.

So here are our top tips for staying safe at work this Christmas:

  • Swap your old lights for new LED lights, which are much safer. LED lights generate less heat, so they are not as likely to ignite decorations, tinsel or artificial tree foliage.
  • Make sure your Christmas tree lights or any other flashing Santa’s are PAT tested. And never leave your lights on overnight. Why not ask your fire wardens or security manager to check all electrical Christmas decorations are switched off at the end of each shift?
  • A showstopping Christmas tree will bring the festive cheer to any office but make sure it doesn’t also block your fire exists and isn't placed too close to equipment, such as computers and printers, which may overheat and cause a blaze.
  • Check your smoke detectors and fire alarms haven’t been covered by your Christmas tree and decorations. With all the extra colour and bling, they may be hard to spot.
  • Be careful not to misuse your equipment. It’s easy to overload four-way adaptor cables without realising it, so we recommend always using a multi-way bar extension lead rather than a square block adaptor. The old-fashioned square adaptors can easily tip away from the plug socket if overloaded, causing them to spark.

Related: Are your smoke detectors up to the job?

Things can change a lot in a year so Christmas is a good reminder to check that your Fire Risk Assessment is still in date, your fire extinguishers are in good working order and your Fire Wardens are fully trained

For more information about our Fire Risk Assessments and advice about keeping your workplace safe from fire, contact Matt Spivey at Synergy Fire Engineering on (0)843 658 1310 or email [email protected].

Matt Spivey is Managing Director of Synergy Fire Engineering, the only BAFE SP205 accredited Fire Risk Assessors in Derbyshire. A member of the Institution of Fire Engineers, Matt is highly qualified and holds a BEng (Hons) in Fire Engineering.  For more information about our fire safety training call Synergy Fire Engineering on 01629 828 881 or email [email protected].

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