Last weekend would have marked a time in common for many, many Australian households- the erecting of the Christmas tree.

Have you ever considered the dangers with such a task? Between storage in elevated, deep (spider infested!) cupboards, scattered trails of lights, kids and pets pulling at branches and decorations, and perhaps a celebratory beverage to top it off, the whole process becomes a risk-analyst’s nightmare.

As with all tasks involving an axe,¬†electricity, tinsel and a bar fridge (sounds like my normal weekend…), a few tips or ideas may be useful:

“…who put that there?!”

  • Get help! Don’t try to drag a large heavy tree inside by yourself, and use adult help to remove from cupboards/storgae.
  • When placing the tree, ensure it is at least 1m away from heat sources, lamps and candles. Consider easily-accessible power sources for lights or decorations.
  • For pure convenience (as well as safety) keep clear of doorways and windows, to avoid a nasty ‘thud’ in the night.

Lights, Cameras ready, Accident

  • Inspect lights for signs of wear or exposed wires. Replace lines with missing globes to ensure to other objects are inserted.
  • Ensure instructions for exclusive inside/outside use are followed carefully, as well as any other tips from the manufacturer.
  • Space lights and other decorations to avoid points where over-heating could occur.
  • When reaching to place lights and decorations (don’t forget the star!) use a step ladder or similar fixed object- “jump on my shoulders” may result in a horizontal tree (HT).
  • Take care not to overload or piggy-back power points and adapters.

Santa’s watching; so should you…

  • (from personal experience) Toddlers and pets are obsessed with their new surroundings, and pulling on branches or tripping on presents can lead to HT, but worse- with someone under it!
  • Keep extension cords well hidden to avoid trip hazards.
  • Hot plugs/timers/regulators shouldn’t be covered with presents. Common sense wins the day.

Have a tip or horror story to tell us? Tweet @flurotraining and tag #noHT

Merry Christmas!

Resources:

http://www.essentialenergy.com.au/asset/cms/pdf/safety/christmas_lights_safety2.pdf

http://www.nfpa.org/education