Follow these tips to ensure you stay safe this festive season, especially if switching on Christmas lights.

Enjoy your Christmas celebrations but, first of all, be sure to check out the safety information below from the Royal Society of the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

Christmas lights

  • If you have old Christmas lights, seriously consider buying new ones which will meet much higher safety standards, and don't let children play with lights (some have swallowed the bulbs).
  • Keep decorations and cards away from fires and other heat sources such as light fittings. Don't leave burning candles unattended – make sure you put them out before going to bed – and do not put candles on Christmas trees.

Christmas light safety

More safety tips

  • Make sure you buy children's gifts for the correct age group and from reputable retailers, and ensure they comply to safety standards. You can find more information on our toy safety pages.
  • Remember to buy batteries for toys that need them – that way you won't be tempted to remove batteries from smoke alarms.
  • Look out for small items that could pose a choking hazard to young children, including parts that have fallen off toys or from Christmas trees, button batteries, and burst balloons.
  • Remember, Christmas novelties are not toys, even if they resemble them, and they do not have to comply with toy safety regulations. Give careful thought to where you display them – for example, place them high up on Christmas trees where they are out of the reach of young hands.
  • Give yourself enough time to prepare and cook Christmas dinner to avoid hot fat, boiling water and sharp knife accidents that come from rushing, and keep anyone not helping with dinner out of the kitchen. Wipe up any spills quickly.
  • Have scissors handy to open packaging, so you're not tempted to use a knife, and have screwdrivers at the ready to assemble toys.
  • Beware of trailing cables and wires in the rush to connect new gadgets and appliances, and always read instructions.
  • Falls are the most common accidents so try to keep clutter to a minimum. Make sure stairs are well-lit and free from obstacles, especially if you have guests.
  • Plan New Year fireworks parties well in advance and follow the Firework Code.
  • Do not drink and drive, and plan long journeys so you won't be driving tired. 

Watch how Christmas tree fire destroyed a home


Did you know?

  • In 2002 (the latest statistics available), 1,000 people were estimated to have visited A&E in the UK after home accidents involving Christmas trees and 350 people after home accidents involving Christmas lights.

    Source: Home Accident Surveillance System, 2002
  • Candles sparked around 1,000 UK house fires, resulting in nine deaths and 388 casualties, in 2011/12.
  • Fairy lights went up in smoke causing 20 fires, while Christmas trees, decorations and cards were also a fire risk and responsible for 47 house fires, leading to 20 non-fatal casualties, across the UK.

    Source: 2011/12 Fire Statistics Great Britain from the Department for Communities and Local Government.


Find out more

For further information, please visit RoSPA

If you can't find what you are looking for here, please submit an enquiry using the contact form, by telephone on 0121 248 2000 or by email on Help@rospa.com