It's nearly that time of year once more, and we are all looking forward to what should be a happy and peaceful holiday. Unfortunately, it is also the season when unnecessary and careless accidents can happen, spoiling things for everyone.
Here are a few simple guidelines to consider that will help keep this Silly Season fun and accident free.
- Make Sure Your Christmas Tree is Safe
It wouldn't be Christmas without a fabulous tree, beautifully decorated with all the trimmings. Whether it is artificial or the real thing, they can both be a potential fire hazard in your home.
Make sure that the Christmas lights are compliant with Australian Standards and don't be tempted to load up the nearby power points with extra power boards and adaptors. Remember to turn off the lights when you're going out or off to bed, better to be on the safe side. This is an excellent time to warn about the pretty Christmas candles that you may have added to your decor - keep them away from the tree, be mindful of naked flames, and extinguish them before bed.
- Be Safe at the BBQ
Living in Cairns, at some point over the festive holiday its very likely that you'll be using the BBQ, whether it's for a sausage sizzle or delicious seafood on Christmas day. Make sure that your cooking experience stays fun by carrying out a few simple checks - examine all the gas hoses to identify any leaks and give the grill a scrub before you get started and after each session. Check the location of your BBQ, ensuring that it isn't close to anything flammable and of course, never leave it unattended when in operation.
- Say 'No' to Drink Driving
It's definitely the season to be jolly - Christmas parties, cold beers on Christmas day, and of course the celebrations on New Year's Eve. The holidays should be a time when we can relax and unwind after a hard year, but if you've had more than the legal alcohol limit always make sure that you have a plan to get home, without driving. Also be mindful of driving the following morning if you've really overindulged, don't take any chances with your safety and the law.
- Make Sure Your House is Safe
At holiday times, the number of house break-ins increases - many of us go away over the season, leaving our houses unattended. Before you leave, there are a few simple things that can help deter burglars. Tell a neighbour (whom you trust) of your plans and ask them to keep an eye on things as well as collect your mail. Another option is to have your mail held at the post office for the duration of your absence, piles of unopened mail is a sure giveaway. It's a good idea to leave a car in the driveway too so that it looks like someone is home.
- Prepare for Cyclone Season
The heat is most definitely on in Cairns, and this is a great time to make sure that you're prepared for Cyclone Season before the Christmas madness truly gets underway.
Check the condition of your roof and make sure that gutters and downpipes are clear of leaves and debris. Any overhanging branches or overgrown trees should be trimmed. When you're shopping for Christmas essentials, make sure that you are also stocked up with emergency supplies for your cyclone kit such as water and non-perishable foods, medical gear, torches, radios, sandbags, etc.
Before the Christmas fun begins, make sure that you have identified the most suitable room in your home for a cyclone shelter and that you are familiar with how to turn off the mains for power and water in case of emergency.