Keep Safe at Christmas

Everyone loves Christmas lights and decorations but they can be a source of danger in the office and at home.

The University's fire safety team suggest a simple risk assessment is a good idea: avoid mains powered Christmas lights and go for the low-voltage sets with a transformer.  Don't be tempted to use tea-lights or candles. Make sure the decorations you use in the office and at home are flame-retardant and don't put trees and decorations in places where they could obstruct fire exits or stairway enclosures.  Avoid decorations made of crepe paper or polystyrene.

For good advice, have a look at the ROSPA website​.

Tumbledriers

The UofG fire safety team has also passed on a current warning about some domestic tumble driers. The domestic appliance maker Indesit has issued a safety alert for a potentially 'significant' number of its tumble dryers after a fault was discovered which could expose the dryers to a fire risk when excess fluff touches the heating element.

The two, large air vented and condensing dryers were sold under the brand names Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda in the UK and abroad between April 2004 and October 2015.

"It is not uncommon for electrical appliances to be the cause for fires, particularly within domestic environments. Appliances such as tumble driers have an additional risk due to the presence of high temperatures: it is for this reason that manufacturers recalls are important and need to be taken seriously." Andy Mackay, UofG Fire Safety Manager

There are several million Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda appliances in UK households and it's expected a 'large number of them are affected.

Outreach

The company says it is activating an extensive consumer outreach and service action plan in order to provide consumers with products that are updated to higher safety and quality standards.

The firm will arrange a visit from an engineer, free of charge, to modify affected appliances. The service call will take approximately one hour. The improvements are necessary to enhance the safety and quality of the dryers.

In the meantime consumers are being told to continue to use the machines, provided that appliances are not left unattended whilst operating. Safety experts say it's important to regularly clean and maintain equipment as outlined in the user manual.

Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!


First published: 8 December 2015