Millions face fire risk sleeping with Christmas lights on

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christmas tree fires

New research from Zurich UK shows that over three million households leave their Christmas tree lights on all the time, or overnight, potentially putting their homes at risk of fire.

As millions of families get into the festive spirit, three quarters (77%) of Brits will illuminate their Christmas tree with electric lights. Two fifths (39%) put up decorative lights around the house, while a fifth (21%) use fairy lights to decorate the outside of their homes.

Analysis of Zurich’s data shows that fire-related claims spike in December when compared to the monthly average. Unsafe electrical decorations, poor quality lights, overloaded plugs, and dried out trees are all potential hazards which could lead to a fire. However, candles take the top spot for the main cause of fires during the festive period, closely followed by electrical appliances and wiring.

However, people could unknowingly be putting their households at risk. As many as 6% of people leave their Christmas tree lights on permanently, not turning them off until they take them down, and a further 6% leave them on overnight – only turning them off when the house is empty.

Phil Ost, home insurance expert, Zurich, comments:

 “Christmas is a time for celebrating and decorations are a central part of that. However, while Christmas tree lights add festive sparkle, they can also be dangerous if a few very simple checks are overlooked. Poor quality lights, overloaded electrical sockets and lights left on overnight, or while you’re out of the house, can put your home at risk. To reduce the possibility of a Christmas tree fire, make sure you turn off your Christmas lights when you are out, or overnight, keep your tree away from any heat sources and ensure it is properly watered so not to dry out. Simple actions like these will help make sure the only flame during the season is on your Christmas pudding.”

It is important to make sure your smoke and heat alarms are working all year round, however, whilst you have some time off over Christmas make sure you test them and speak to the family about your fire escape plan in case of an emergency.

If you are looking for new smoke alarms have a look at the CAVIUS Wireless Family which is made up of the CAVIUS Wireless Photelectric Smoke Alarm and the Wireless Thermal Heat Alarm.

Wireless Photoelectric Smoke alarm has been designed to detect a wide range of types of smoke in the home and is ideal for installing in bedrooms, lounges, and hallways.

Wireless Thermal Heat Alarm is designed to detect a rapid and constant increase in heat, the thermal heat alarm is ideal for places where you cannot traditionally install smoke alarms; these areas include kitchens, garages, workshops and laundries.

You can purchase the CAVIUS Wireless Photoelectric Smoke Alarm and Wireless Thermal Heat Alarm, here.

For more information on our safety products, click here.

To speak to our team, call: 0330 999 0019

Reference: Zurich UK