6 Ways To Keep Safe At Christmas Time

December 20, 2017


Personal Injury


Pauline Morrissey

We hate to be the fun police, but although the Christmas holidays are the time to relax and celebrate, it’s also the time of the year when accidents and injuries can increase dramatically. With this, don’t let this Christmas holiday turn into a nightmare, and follow these useful tips below for a disaster-free holiday.

1. Keep Your Christmas Tree Hazard-free

Nothing kicks off the festive season like putting up a towering, grandly-decorated, sparkling Christmas tree. It marks everything that’s magical about the season, but whether you’ve picked up a real or artificial tree, they can pose a significant fire hazard in the home. Remember to double check your lights to make sure they conform to Australian standards, don’t overload your power outlets with adaptors or power boards, and keep it away from heat sources such as fireplaces or heaters and candles. And just to be on the safe side, turn off the lights each night before you head to bed, and if you’re heading away, consider unplugging them altogether.

2. Exercise BBQ Safety

Whether it’s for Christmas lunch, Boxing day, or any other day of the festive season, you’ll most likely find yourself dusting off the trusty BBQ and cooking up some snags in the sun. As such, don’t get caught out causing a BBQ-related fire and having to deal with a bigger blaze than you bargained for. Before the BBQ season, give your grill a good clean before, during, and after use, check all gas hoses for leaks, make sure your BBQ is set-up away from any flammable structures and always keep it supervised when cooking.

3. Stay Alert On The Roads And Stop, Revive, Survive

You’ll no doubt be heading off somewhere in the car over the Christmas break for a good ol’ summertime road trip. Sun in the sky, tunes on the radio, and hopefully some quiet kids in the backseat. But as the km’s begin to drag on, you might notice your attention waning, remember to stop, revive, survive. Before you get yourself into a mess, pull over, take a break, stretch out and get refreshed for the next leg. This, along with some generally safe driving, should ensure you get to where you’re going safely.

4. Don’t Drink And Drive

Well it’s not called the ‘silly season’ for no reason. This is the time of the year to let your hair down at the work Christmas party, down a few cold ones on Christmas Day, or get in some practice sessions for a big New Year’s Eve. Whatever the celebration, just make sure to have a plan B for getting home that night and also think before you drive the next day. If you went too hard, you still might be over the limit when you go to drive in the morning, so if you’re in doubt, just play it on the safe side.

5. Protect Your House From Break-ins

If ‘Home Alone’ taught us anything, it’s that burglars are just waiting for us to leave home for the holidays before ransacking the place. In truth, that’s not far from what happens at this time of the year. There is a notorious increase in home break-ins, so before you head off, consider having your mail held at the post office so it doesn’t pile up, let a trusted neighbour know your plans so they can be on the lookout, lock up your place securely, and maybe even leave a car in the driveway if you can, so it looks like someone is at home.

6. Prepare For Bushfire Season

With summer upon us and the threat of bushfires intensifying, there’s no time like the present to implement some simple yet highly effective life-saving precautions. It’s an unfortunate fact of life for large parts of Australia, that Christmas coincides with the bushfire season, so make sure your home is as prepared as it can be. Trim any branches that are hanging over your roof, reduce the amount of dry and dead fuel around your property, slash and mow the grass, and store any combustible materials well away from your house in a shed or outbuilding.

Pauline Morrissey

Freelance writer based in Sydney and contributor to the Smith's Lawyers blog


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