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Stay safe this festive season

10 December 2018

The arrival of winter and the festive season brings added fire and security risks. Chubb Fire & Security, a leading provider of security and fire-safety solutions, offers these tips to staying safe over the festive period: 

1.  Going away? Do not post on social media about your travel plans and install a timer to switch lights on and off so that the house appears to be occupied. Ask to redirect your post, cancel any newspaper and milk deliveries and ask your neighbours to take away any packages.

2.   Do not keep keys in a place visible from the outside, such as hanging on hooks. In addition, do not hide keys near a door, such as under the doormat, as thieves know where to check.

3. Install a motion-activated exterior light to welcome you home after dark – and also deter unwanted visitors.

4.   Outside, be aware of your surroundings, lock your car and take care of high-value belongings like mobile phones, which have become a popular target for thieves.

5.   Fit a smoke alarm. Regularly test your smoke alarm and change the batteries at least once a year. And keep a fire blanket or suitable extinguisher handy in the kitchen.

6.  Don’t place your Christmas tree by a log-fire, radiator or heater. Turn all Christmas tree lights off before going to bed.

7.   In case of a fire, have an escape plan. Make sure you have more than one escape route should your exit become blocked.

8.  If using an electric blanket, make sure the cord isn’t frayed or worn before plugging it in. Never leave it on and unsupervised for longer than 15 minutes.

9. Never leave fires, candles or any form of exposed flame in the home unattended and ensure children are always supervised when around fires, candles or matches.

10. If using gas-, oil- or coal-burning appliances, use a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm to be quickly alerted to CO dangers. Ensure the home is properly ventilated and equipment is regularly serviced and maintained.

“Over this winter and the festive period, we hope the following guidelines will help people keep safe. It’s worrying that burglary and theft is on the rise and it acts as a reminder to exercise common sense in safety at all times,” said Mark Pettit, UK strategy director for Chubb Fire & Security.

“We also urge everyone to be mindful of domestic fire safety and measures to avoid a house fire,” Pettit added. “Installing a fire or smoke alarm is one of the easiest measures to prevent a potentially devastating incident from taking place.”