On the first day of Christmas…

Make sure festive cheer doesn’t turn to tears by reminding tenants about these seasonal safety issues.

 
House FireNothing says it’s Christmas time quite like the twinkle of lights. At this time of year homes are often lit up in anticipation of feasting and frivolities with family and friends.
 
And while no-one wants to be the Grinch who stole the Christmas spirit, the reality is that candles, fairy lights, flammable decorations and overloaded electrical extensions can all increase the risk of fire. So as the festive season approaches, take the time to remind tenants about some basic seasonal safety issues. You could save them and yourself a lot of heartache, loss and even lives.

Christmas lights

  • Follow the manufacturer’s safety precautions and directions
  • Only use interior and exterior lights fit for purpose and certified as meeting safety standards
  • Check all lights for wear and that the fuses and wattage/voltage are correct before using
  • Don’t connect too many strings of lights together (maximum of 3)
  • Lights should be switched off each night or when you leave the home
  • Don’t overload power boards and avoid connecting extension cords together
  • Avoid running power cords across heavy traffic areas, under rugs, through open windows or sliding doorways
  • Don’t hang on any flammable surface
  • Given the liability risks (injury, property damage), landlords may wish to prohibit the use of exterior lights

Candles

  • Keep clear of curtains and furnishings, the Christmas tree, decorations and other flammable items
  • Secure firmly in non-combustible holders that won’t tip over
  • Never leave a lit candle unattended, check it regularly to ensure it hasn’t burnt down too far and extinguish when you leave the room/home or go to bed
  • Keep children and pets away from lit candles
  • Never put candles under the tree or hang them as decorations

Tree safety

  • Real tree? Take care hanging lights as when the tree dries out it becomes more susceptible to fire
  • Artificial trees should also be fire resistant
  • Secure the tree so that it won’t topple
  • If the home is equipped with security, make sure the tree and any other decorations don’t obscure or trigger the sensors
  • Never place near a direct heat source
Behind all the tinsel and trimmings, this time of the year can also be a strain – emotionally and financially – and you may find your tenants experience difficulties in paying the rent.
 
While compassion and goodwill towards all goes a long way, it’s easier to embrace the spirit of the season if you know that the landlord is covered for any financial losses should the tenant fall on hard times. Talk to us about insurance cover that protects rental income.