Decking the halls can be a risk

Employees who are keen to bring a little Christmas cheer to their workplace are being warned to take extra care.

office Christmas decorations

Dave Williams, said with the run-up to the big day at full pace, more and more workplaces were being transformed with a whole range of festive touches.

“No-one wants to be a killjoy and suggest that companies deter staff from brightening up their offices, but it is important to consider the extra challenges they bring as Christmas decorations can create a whole new set of hazards in a business setting.”

He said Christmas trees were a particular area of concern, and staff should take special care when positioning their chosen tree.

“If it’s artificial, make sure it’s fire resistant and that the tree is positioned well away from any heating equipment. You must also make sure any fire escape routes are kept clear at all times.

“Before you put last year’s fairy lights on the tree, check the cables and bulbs carefully and when you plug them in, make sure there are no trailing leads across open floor areas and don’t overload plug sockets.

“Nominate a responsible person to make sure the lights are unplugged at the mains when your business shuts up shop for the day too.”

Mr Williams said staff should also take care not to put decorations up in front of intruder alarm movement detectors, or put them in a position where any movement of the decorations caused by heating or air conditioning units could cause unwanted alarms.

“If you own a retail premises, stock levels are likely to be at their highest at this time of year, and you must be careful not to compromise fire safety. Keep fire escape routes clear at all times, and check that piles of stock and displays are kept clear of light fittings.”

As well as Christmas safety in the workplace, Mr Williams said businesses that closed down for an extended Christmas and New Year holiday were also at increased risk from burst pipes.

“Take sensible precautions like leaving the heating on low just in case bad weather strikes, and make regular checks at the premises during the break to catch any damage at the earliest opportunity. Christmas is the season for celebrating, but businesses must protect themselves at the same time to avoid any difficulties.”

  Dave Williams

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