Christmas 2015 Decoration Safety and Security

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Insurance claims increase significantly over the Christmas period, both in terms of theft and fire damage. Decorations also play a part in activations of intruder and fire alarms, commonly causing false activations. These activations can be avoided by being aware of how you are decorating your home or office and putting thought into how they may move.

Fire safety tips

– Christmas cards and paper decorations coming too close to heaters and lights can be extremely flammable.
– Candles and open fires can also be dangerous if they are too close to decorations, paper or foliage.
– Always make sure candles and lights are out before leaving the room, leaving the house or going to bed. Never leave candles or open fires unattended.
– Ensure your artificial tree is marked as fire retardant.
– Position your tree away from obvious heat and ignition sources in a room, e.g. fires, electrics.
– Make sure your tree is not blocking your escape route.
– Check the age of your Christmas lights, consider buying new lights with higher fire safety regulations.
– Don’t run cables under carpet or anywhere it could get damaged and don’t overload sockets.
– Ensure you have a working smoke alarm on all levels of your home.

Avoiding false intruder alarm activations

– Decorations and cards are prone to falling down and creating false alarms, possibly leading to wasting police time or your neighbours ignoring genuine alarm activations in the future.
– Avoid hanging decorations near motion sensor areas as movements when the alarm is set could result in an activation. Place out of line of sight of the sensor.
– Central heating can move decorations and cards without anyone being in the house. Avoid placing these directly above radiators.
– Don’t let these false activation concerns or the distraction of the season stop you from setting your burglar alarm. With homes full of gifts and valuables, it is more important than ever to make sure your home is as secure as possible.
– These warnings are just as relevant to business, as offices are likely to be left unoccupied for longer over the Christmas period – also with decorations still up.
– Avoid temptation to decorate detectors at the entrance of shops. Anything metallic can interfere with the shop lifting alarm system.
– Those with monitored alarm systems should take extra care – too many false activations could lead to losing your monitoring privileges.

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