Winter Safety Tips
Keep your home safe this winter
The Christmas season is upon us and while it can be a busy time of year with everyone caught up in the festivities, it can be easy to forget about home and fire safety. Make sure your home is protected this winter with these simple tips.
Winter Home Safety
- Light up: If you don't plan on being home, use timers or smart plugs on lights to ensure your house is well lit. With the darker evenings, the most common time for a burglary is between 5 pm and 11 pm.
- Out of sight: Keep valuable possessions and Christmas gifts away from windows and doors.
- Lock all doors: One third of burglars will enter the house through the front door.
- Close windows and avoid running electricity cords through window cracks.
- Don’t keep spare keys outside: Instead, leave them with a trusted neighbour.
- Unwanted visitors: Before answering the door, check for unwelcome visitors. Ask for ID from anyone who asks to enter your home for any type of ‘maintenance’ reasons.
- Stay vigilant: Alert your neighbours and Gardaí of any suspicious behaviour.
- Don’t advertise: Be mindful of social media and avoid sharing travel plans online.
- Avoid leaving notes: Don't leave notes for the postman saying nobody's home.
- Arm your alarm: Don't forget to arm your alarm when you're not home.
Winter Fire Safety
- Check for damage: Before use, make sure to inspect all electrical lights, decorations, and extension leads for damage.
- Replace any stands of lights that are worn, broken or frayed.
- Don’t join extension leads: When using extension leads, avoid stringing multiple leads together to create a longer lead.
- Do not overload power outlets with too many decorations or devices.
- Outdoor use only: When using lights and decorations outside, make sure you’re using those that are labelled “for outdoor use.”
- Water your tree: If you had a real Christmas tree, remember to keep the stand full of water. A fresh, green tree is less of a fire hazard than a dry tree.
- Never use lit candles on or near the Christmas tree.
- Keep heat away: Keep any electric heaters at least three feet away from anything that can burn – decorations, trees, gifts, and curtains.
- Remember to blow out any lit candles before leaving a room or going to bed.
- Fireplace Safety: Make sure nothing is hanging too low in front of the fireplace – garlands, decorations or stockings.
- Safety in the kitchen: Never leave cooking equipment unattended and keep pots and pans on the stove away from young children.
- Inform guests: Remember to share your house escape plan with any overnight guests.