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Put safety first this silly season

The holidays are a time filled with happiness, family and friends but they are also the most common time of year for injuries and incidents to occur. Many people don’t realise the potential hazards that come about at Christmas time and are often too busy or distracted to ensure they are keeping themselves safe. By taking note of potential risks  and being aware of your environment, you can make sure you don’t injure yourself or your loved ones this Christmas.

Here are some tips on how you can stay safe over these holidays:

  • If you have Christmas lights, make sure they are a good quality and aren’t old and frayed. Most people take out their box of lights once a year so it’s important to remember that they won’t last forever. Christmas lights vary in quality and can get rusty or frayed, so make sure you check them before putting them up.
  • If you are putting up lights, ensure they are on a low voltage and a circuit is connected to a safety switch. It’s also a good idea to buy Australian-compliant lights, not online ones from overseas, as they may be a different voltage and may not comply with Australian safety standards.
  • If you have outdoor lights, make sure they are outdoor approved. Indoor lights do not have additional weatherproofing, so are not suitable outdoors. The higher the weatherproof rating, the better the lights are. Do not put outdoor lights near pools or other wet surfaces.
  • Do not leave lights on while you are out. All lights should be turned off at night time and all outdoor lights should be turned off during bad weather.
  • Be safe when using a ladder. Many injuries and deaths occur over the festive season when people put up decorations. It is important to make sure there is always someone else home when using a ladder and never have more than one person on the ladder at once.
  • Ensure hallways, paths and walkways are kept clear and clutter free. Cables and decorations should be out of the way as they are potential trip hazards. These can be Christmas light cables, Christmas decorations, presents, extra floor runners and anything else that clutters up a space, especially if there will be more people present in the space than usual.
  • Test smoke alarms in the house. Smoke alarms should be tested throughout the whole year but especially during the warmer months and if you are using Christmas lights and other electrical decorations.
  • Food should not be left out for longer than two hours. If the weather is hot, it is best not to leave it for longer than one hour. This is especially important if eating outdoors, as it is often quite hot over the festive season.
  • Store food in clean airtight containers. Food should be stored safely in clean, airtight containers to reduce the growth of bacteria. If reheating leftover food, the container must be microwave safe, a lid should be used and the food should be heated through evenly.

For more information about staying safe this silly season visit:

Happy Holidays!

Stay On Your Feet® is provided by Injury Matters and funded by the Western Australian Department of Health.

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Injury Matters acknowledge the Whadjuk Noongar people as the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work, and recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples continuing connection to land, waters and community across Western Australia.