Avoid Christmas disasters

Avoid Christmas disasters

Excitement, stress, tiredness and alcohol can create unexpected hazards in the home at Christmas says the National Health Service.

More than 80,000 people a year need hospital treatment for injuries such as falls, cuts and burns during the festive period.

Typical disasters include:

  • Food poisoning from badly cooked turkeys.
  • People cutting themselves with knives when they're opening presents too quickly.
  • Parents stabbing themselves with scissors which they are using to assemble toys instead of using a screwdriver.
  • People tripping over toys and electric cables while rushing to try new computers and other appliances.
  • Every year, about 1,000 people are injured by their Christmas tree, usually while fixing lights or other decorations to the higher branches, and around 350 people are hurt by Christmas tree lights, including electric shocks and burns from faulty lights.
  • Plumbing disasters are common, too. A white Christmas often means frozen pipes (particularly in homes left empty over the holiday period) followed by bursts and leaks.

Robin Banks of Drain Doctor Plumbing says: "A surprising number of people pour hot turkey fat down the kitchen sink where it then solidifies and blocks the drain. If you're lucky it is just the kitchen sink that gets blocked but sometimes the sheer volume of fat from a large turkey means it will block the main drain from the house."

Toilets, too, can be blocked by the volume of paper being flushed away by a house full of visitors - and every year plumbers are called out to unblock toilets and drains blocked by children (or sometimes adults) dropping toys and other things down lavatories.

Robin Banks said: "A burst pipe or blocked lavatory is a problem at any time of the year - at Christmas or New Year it can be an expensive nightmare. ‘Rip off' plumbers can charge a small fortune just to take a look at the problem.

"So, as with other Christmas disasters, plumbing prevention is better than cure. Keep yourself safe this Christmas by doing sensible things like using a ladder when putting the star on top of the tree - and keep your drains safe by making sure nothing goes down them that should not go down them.

"If you are unlucky enough to have a problem, though, Drain Doctor works to the same fixed prices over the festive season as at any other time of year - and there are no call-out charges, not even on Christmas Day or New Year's Eve. Every job is priced before work starts, working to a national pricing menu."

If you have a Christmas plumbing problem call Drain Doctor on 0800 70 71 72.

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