Remember safety standards this Christmas

Always check toys and lights for CE mark
  • Deborah Condon

From checking the lights on your Christmas tree to keeping decorations away from the fire, people are being urged to consider safety standards in their homes this Christmas.

"We know people are busy preparing for the festivities but standards really should be at the forefront of their minds to help ensure a peaceful and happy Christmas for all," said Pat Bracken of the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI).

The authority is urging people to do the following:

-Check the lights on your Christmas tree. All should be CE marked, and look out for frayed or exposed wires, broken or cracked sockets, or loose connections. It is much safer to replace lights than to try and repair them. CE marking indicates that a product conforms with health, safety, and environmental protection standards for products sold within the EU

-Ensure toys are CE marked. The CE mark should be on the product itself or the packaging

-Test your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors. These also should carry the CE mark

-Make sure toys and games are age appropriate. For example, VR headsets are popular this year, but are not recommended for children under the age of 12

-Ensure toys do not have sharp edges, small holes that could trap little fingers or detachable small parts

-If Santa is bringing something like a bicycle or rollerblades, ensure you have the right safety gear, such as helmets and knee pads

-Do not mix old and new batteries in toys - this can cause the older batteries to overheat. Do not overload sockets and make sure to unwind extension cords so they do not overheat either

-Keep decorations away from the fire and other sources of heat such as candles and light fittings

-Switch off all Christmas lights last thing at night and when leaving the house to protect against the risk of fire.

-Always dispose of discarded wrapping paper, plastic bags, ribbons etc... as soon as they are not needed. Ensure younger children do not play with anything that could cause suffocation.

The NSAI is also reminding people that if they come across a toy or an electrical item that seems unsafe or does not have a CE Mark, they should not buy it. Instead, they should contact the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) with details of the item and where it was being sold. Call (01) 402 5555.


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