Keep your property safe this holiday season

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The 2024 festive season is nearing, and along with the steady influx of decor, parties and Christmas trees, comes the heightened risk of interior fires.

With this in mind, the Alan Boswell Landlord Building Insurance experts sought to reveal their top tips for avoiding insurance claims this Christmas and helping tenants, including those in, celebrate safely.

1. Prep your property

Property management can be challenging at Christmas, but prepping your house for the holidays with an emergency protocol and thorough checks can help to ensure the safety of your property and tenants. Tell tenants to keep walkways clear. Clear escape plans are vital in case of a fire, so make sure tenants’ Christmas decorations are not covering exits and escape routes.

2. Tend to Christmas trees appropriately

When it comes to decorating Christmas trees, ensure tenants are aware of how to avoid potential fire incidents. A dry Christmas tree is extremely flammable, so if your tenants opt for a real tree this year, make sure to keep it hydrated. They should also keep all Christmas trees (including artificial ones) away from heat sources such as radiators and electric heaters.

3. Follow electrical safety measures

Remind tenants to be cautious with Christmas lights, ensure they conform to the British standard, have no frayed wires and never run cables underneath flammable materials such as a rug or carpet. Do not attach decorations, including lights, to or near a heat source such as lamps.

4. Choose decor and materials wisely

It is good practice to stay away from flammable decorations altogether, especially around open flames, like the fireplace, mantelpiece and radiators. Remind your tenants to minimise decor in the kitchen. They can opt for battery-powered candles instead of real ones, too.

5. Include the correct fire safety equipment

Adhering to fire safety precautions will help prevent a fire in your property at Christmas. But in the event that a fire does break out, you should always have the correct safety equipment available, such as fire extinguishers – as well as confirming that the property doors are fire safe and all fire alarms are tested.

Sometimes things happen despite prevention, so be sure your landlord property insurance is up to date – it is best to have a plan in place for all instances.

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