Fire safety in the workplace over the Christmas period


Published: December 1, 2022

Fire safety in a workplace at Christmas..

Christmas time is an opportunity for parties, fun and frolicking. However, ensuring the safety of employees and customers should always be a top priority for an employer. Christmas can bring its own issues which you’ll need to address. Let’s look at some areas of concern over this time and how full fire safety can be achieved.

Test your fire alarms regularly

With changes in displays and additional decorations, now is a good time to ensure alarms and detection systems are setup and working in all areas. Over the festive season, fires may start far away from where people are usually sat or working throughout the day which means that having a suitable and functioning fire detection system in place is vital. This means that continuing to test your fire alarms over this period will ensure that everyone is kept safe.

Fire safety in a workplace at Christmas..

Ensure the correct fire safety equipment is installed

Having the correct fire safety equipment is important so that anything that goes wrong can be dealt with. Having properly positioned fire extinguishers will improve fire safety. It is also important to remember that you must have a suitable fire extinguisher for the types of fire that your business is likely to deal with. It goes without saying that electrical fires are very common over the Christmas period due to the types of lights and decorations used so you will need a carbon-dioxide extinguisher to hand for an electrical fire, or a Water/AFFF Foam unit for the leaves, decorations and other textile type fires.

Avoid overloading electrical sockets

Having correctly working decorations and lights does not pose a fire safety risk but overloading an electrical power outlet can pose a fire safety risk. This can be avoided by making sure that an electrical power outlet is not overloaded. Using decorations with fuses in the plugs can also ensure safer devices.

Safely position your Christmas tree and decorations

Considering where your Christmas tree and decorations are placed will help to ensure that you are safe over the festive period. Consider materials that can catch fire and keep these away from your tree, Christmas lights and decorations. Remember to also turn off your lights overnight to ensure that lights and sockets are not over-heating.

Escape routes

As part of your fire evacuation procedures, you will have planned escape routes. Over the Christmas period, it is important to consider these and ensure that the exit routes are not blocked by decorations or packaging and that cables do not introduce trip hazards that could lead to employees being injured when trying to exit.

A few quick tips:

  • Check your Christmas tree lights carry the British Safety Standard sign.
  • Never place candles near your Christmas tree or materials that can catch light easily.
  • Decorations can burn easily – so don’t attach them to lights or heaters.
  • Never overload electrical sockets. Always switch Christmas lights off and unplug them before you leave.


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